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SPECIAL

THE TECHNOLOGY
THE PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE
BEHIND THE
NEW SLS AMG
2009

BUSINESS HAPPY BIRTHDAY


FROM MOSCOW
CLASS G 55 AMG

JOINING FORCES:
COMFORT AND POWER
E 63 AMG
TREND
MATTE PAINT’S
BRIGHT AND SHINY FUTURE
CONSISTENCY
THE CONTOURS OF
THE E 63 AMG ARE A
DIRECT TESTAMENT
TO ITS POTENTIAL.
THIS IS A PACKAGE
FULL OF POWER AND
PASSION – BUILT
TO LEAD THE FIELD
AMG 2009 3
TEMPERAMENT
525
HORSEPOWER
AND 630 NM
TORQUE
PRODUCE A
UNIQUE
EXPERIENCE
THAT CAN EVEN BE
EXPRESSED
IN NUMERICAL
TERMS:
FROM
0 TO 100 KM/H
IN JUST
4.5 SECONDS

AMG 2009 5
COMFORT ZONE
EXCLUSIVE DETAIL-
ING AND HIGH-
CLASS MATERIALS
ALLIED WITH THE
ELECTRONICALLY
CONTROLLED
DAMPING SYSTEM –
PERFECT QUALITIES
FOR LONG-DIS-
TANCE JOURNEYS
AMG 2009 7
SAFETY
AWARENESS
FATIGUE ALERTS,
NIGHT VISION ASSIST,
HIGH BEAM ASSIST,
TRACKING ASSIST
AND
BLIND SPOT ASSIST.
TECHNICAL
STANDARDS FOR
THE CAR OF THE
FUTURE – JUST LIKE THE
AUTOMATIC FULL
BRAKE FUNCTION

AMG 2009 9
AMG 2009 11
Numbers can reveal a lot. They can’t, and night vision assist, as well as a lower rpm, the new E 63 AMG achieves
however, fully describe special charac- PRE-SAFE® brake system with automat- an average fuel consumption of just
teristics on their own. With the calcula- ic full brake function – to name just a 12.6 liters per 100 km – a benchmark
tions of its fiery temperament (525 HP, few features. in this performance class!
630 Nm torque) and impressive accel-
eration values (from 0 to 100 km/h in Superior performance takes on an en- The new SLS AMG also promises a
just 4.5 seconds), the new E 63 AMG tirely different dimension in the new range of new features. This edition of
makes a truly overwhelming impres- Mercedes E 63 AMG. Its AMG SPEED- AMG Magazine aims to look at those
sion. But it isn’t just these statistics SHIFT MCT 7-speed sports gearbox features, thereby providing exclusive
that make the E 63 AMG so attractive. puts you in total control of the power- insight into the impressive technology
ful eight-cylinder, 6.3-liter, all-purpose behind this fascinating Gullwing car.
The new Mercedes-Benz E Class high-speed aspirated engine. Sport
played a significant role in shaping the drivers can opt to shift manually on the Enjoy this preview of a new breed of
personality of the E 63 AMG. This racetrack, while driving enthusiasts high-performance sports car. A top-
means that in addition to enormous can take their favorite route in the “S+” class automobile with the thorough-
power, the E 63 AMG also offers busi- mode, which offers automatic shifting bred lineage of Mercedes-AMG, which
ness-class comfort, excellent long-haul in under 100 milliseconds. And the fills me with pride and a great deal of
qualities and a safety package that is “Controlled Efficiency” mode converts joy.
unequalled: fatigue alerts, tracking as- the powerful engine torque into timely
sist, blind spot assist, high beam assist fuel savings. Thanks to this consistently

Sincerely yours,
Volker Mornhinweg
CEO, Mercedes-AMG GmbH

PHOTO MARKUS BOLSINGER

AMG 2009 13
A Daimler Brand

Wall Street opens lower,


Affalterbach dynamic as
The new E 63 AMG. Master of Business Acceleration.
www.mercedes-amg.com /E63AMG

Fuel consumption (combined, extra urban, urban): 12.6/9.1/18.7 l/100 km: CO -Emission (combined): 295 g/km.
The figures are not based on an individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the product offer; they are provided solely for purposes of comparison between different vehicle models.
Tokyo
Tokyostocks
stocksweaker,
weaker,
usual.
usual.
The most important tools of this duo are their flat-
screen displays, their way with people – and their
smiles. “For visitors we are the first face of the busi-
ness,” says Hülya Sezgi (right), describing her job at
JOURNAL
the reception desk in the AMG Customer Center. The
daily tasks facing her and her colleague Claudia Bar-
nickel can be quite demanding. To wit: a Middle-Eas-
tern head of state – a familiar face to both of them –
asks for a detailed meeting with an AMG consultant,
and a number of eager customers have arrived to col-
lect their AMG Mercedes. A press conference is under

FIRST way at the same time, to be followed later by a cus-


tomer event. Yet the two First Ladies are always in
LADIES control, always charming. They have been the smile of
AMG since 2002. Of course, English is essential. And
Sezgi speaks Spanish, too. She also has another in-
valuable ability that constantly amazes customers:
she remembers every face and always greets visitors
by name (with discreet help from her electronic diary).

16 AMG 2009
A passion for the beautiful things in life and a demand for
handcrafted perfection: when Giuseppe Santoni talks about
AMG, you immediately feel the genuine enthusiasm that
only happens when equals meet. The first result of this col-
ONE MAN laboration is the “Santoni for AMG” line, which the Italian
expert in elegant footwear has developed exclusively for the
ONE SHOE Affalterbach brand. The qualities shared by both brands are
evident in the consistency with which they jointly approach
the manufacturing project. In line with the AMG principle of
“one man, one engine”, Santoni takes a “one man, one pair
of shoes” approach; just as each motor is signed by the re-
sponsible mechanic in Affalterbach, the Santoni shoes also
carry the name of the shoemaker who produced them. Natu-
rally, because Santoni’s business means that he cannot sim-
ply walk in his own exquisite shoes all the time, he also val-
ues perfection when it comes to mobility – perfection in the
form of the CLS 63 AMG, to be precise. “The combination of
comfort and performance is unique,” says Signor Santoni
appreciatively. He covers a good 50,000 kilometers per
year behind the wheel: “Driving is part of my life”, he says.
Another reason why he and AMG are a perfect match.

AMG 2009 17
„WHEN I PLAY WITH MATTE PAINT, I BLUR THE CONTOURS, THEREBY EMPHASISING THEM“
TREND WOLF-DIETER HACKER, AMG DESIGNER AND TREND SCOUT

AMG 2009 19
HARD
AS AMG IS THE FIRST MANUFACTURER TO OFFER A MATTE FINISH ON
PRODUCTION VEHICLES. EXPERTS PREDICT AN ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSE
FROM THE AUTOMOTIVE HAUTE COUTURE FOR THIS FASCINATING FINISH

SATIN
20 AMG 2009
TEXT JAN BRÜLLE PHOTO HANS-JÜRGEN WIESNER/DEBEOS STUDIOS

s the nets are pulled in, the seething out having to rely on a screeching purple or Indeed, even in the development stage of the
A mass slowly becomes visible: the an intense orange hue to scream distinctive- matte white finish for the SL 63 AMG Edition
time has come to sort the fish. It is ness to shocked fellow motorists. IWC, the oscillating matt/gloss wave resulted
always an event when fishermen reel in their “Of course, you can use the technology to in a significant deflection in both directions –
catch. If there is a shark caught in the net, it emphasize sportiness”, notes Hacker. “Yet that is to say, a high amplitude on the shine
becomes a particularly special occasion. magno can also be warm, sensual – and, first scale was first achieved with a metallic white
Spectators leap back, then reapproach cau- and foremost, elegant.” finish, then firmly countered by the matte fin-
tiously, wanting to take a closer look at the Whether a sportscar, an off-road vehicle or a ish. The result is similar to the background
predator. And above all, to touch it: The skin limousine – and even more than the white shimmer of mother-of-pearl. The next planned
of the shark is rough, they say. You could cut color megatrend, which recently managed to matte finish offers a refined allusion to the
yourself on it – fitting armor for such an ag- penetrate the phalanx of black, blue and sil- silver arrow of Mercedes-Benz racing history:
gressive creature. At first touch, however, the ver on the streets – a matte finish empha- a grey matte metal tone, which makes it
shark’s leathery exterior proves to be as- sizes the modern lines and striking design of seem as if the C 63 AMG has been forged out
toundingly smooth, the contact a veritably the car. “When I play with matte paint”, ex- of pure industrial steel.
silken experience. plains Hacker, “I blur the outlines, thereby
It was the same effect Hans-Joachim Wal- emphasizing them in the process. So I need a R ight: You want to touch it straight
itschek experienced the first time he present- certain solidity to place the matt concept away. And you can. You shouldn’t,
ed a car painted with a matte finish. “People well.” however, polish this “magno” mas-
wanted to touch the car”, reports the designer, A number of technical hurdles had to be ne- terpiece. But then, you wouldn’t try that with
who sketches at Mercedes-Benz for the gotiated before Mercedes-Benz could become a shark, either.
development of new paint trends. “You ex- the first car manufacturer to bring the matt
pect it to be rough. But it feels more velvety, finish to mass production – including the fear
more sensual than a high-gloss finish.” that matte surfaces may be too sensitive for
The surprisingly positive response was the fi- everyday treatment, something that has long
nal confirmation needed to begin perfecting been disproven.
the paint which, under the name “magno”,
now brings the Mercedes-Benz paint range n addition, a modern matte finish
into a completely new dimension – and
I must also fulfill the same require-
which, as “Designer Magno Cashmere White”, ments as those demanded of a gloss
adorns the first matte-finish vehicle to enter finish. “For a magno finish, we work along the
mass production: The SL 63 AMG Edition same principles as those we have developed
IWC. through our experience with conventional fin-
The refracted shimmer of the roadster repre- ishes over the years”, Hacker explains. “A dip-
sents a break with the tradition of gloss fin- ping paint protects from corrosion, which in
ish, a tradition stretching from early coach turn must be protected from UV radiation – a
paintwork through to the deep reflections of task assigned to the external layer of paint,
the latest Alubeam paints. which simultaneously provides the matt ef-
The first impetus for matte finish came more fect.”
than ten years ago, and was in fact rather co- The many layers are also responsible for the
incidental. “Test vehicles were normally given visual depth that characterizes “magno”. The
a matte black base, and the edges masked initial doubts as to the daily handling of the
with black tape”, remembers Wolf-Dieter matte paint have meanwhile been turned on
Hacker, a paint expert and early trend fore- their ear: the finish has proven to be extreme-
caster in Walitschek’s department. Yet, when- ly resistant to scratching. The “magno” vehi-
ever he was on the road in one of these light- cles seem to repel dirt like a spacesuit. The
absorbing cars, he always received any Mercedes-Benz paint developers have thus
number of positive comments. “Of course, we managed to construct the perfect exterior for
were never going to appeal to the masses motor vehicles, uniting form with function in
with the matte concept”, explains Walitschek. the process. Perhaps it’s no coincidence,
This seemed like the best prospect for a sub- then, that AMG vehicles are the first to make
tly distinguishing characteristic with which a the new technology available to connoisseurs
driver could set him- or herself apart – with- in a mass-produced form.

AMG 2009 21
SUNNY TAN
CHINA
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AMG AND MERCEDES-BENZ
SALES PARTNER IN CHINA, 50-YEAR-OLD SUNNY TAN,
WAS PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE GREAT WALL AT SUNRISE.
“SEEING IS BELIEVING – PEOPLE BUY THEIR CARS FROM
THE BROCHURE. STRETCH VERSIONS AND BLACK
PAINTWORK ARE ALWAYS THE MOST POPULAR CHOICES.”

24 AMG 2009
PERFORMANCE CENTER

THREE
WORLDS
UNDER
A SINGLE
STAR
EACH AMG PERFORMANCE CENTER WORLDWIDE
IS UNIQUE. AND YET EACH OF THEM
DEMONSTRATES THE UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES
FOR CUSTOMIZING AN AMG CAR. WE SPOKE
WITH THREE AMG SHOWROOM EXPERTS

TEXT CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT PHOTO M. BOLSINGER, C. MORLOK, S. PFLAEGING, H. SIMAYER

AMG 2009 25
THOMAS GUT
SWITZERLAND
THE WINE ENTHUSIAST WAS PHOTOGRAPHED AGAINST THE BACK-
GROUND OF A WONDERFUL ALPINE LANDSCAPE. GUT LIKES TO
ORGANIZE REGULAR INCENTIVES THAT DON’T JUST FOCUS ON
THE CAR. VISITS TO THE GERMAN TOURING CAR MASTERS (DTM),
GOLF TROPHY AND DRIVER TRAINING COURSES ARE PARTICULAR-
LY POPULAR: “I WANT DIRECT CONTACT WITH OUR CUSTOMERS.”

26 AMG 2009
ED BONELLI
USA
RANCHES, HERDS OF CATTLE AND OIL DERRICKS –
THAT’S YESTERDAY’S NEWS. NOW DALLAS IS ONE
OF THE BIGGEST HIGH-TECH CENTERS IN THE
USA AND HOME TO ED BONELLI, THE NAME YOU
CAN TRUST FOR THE TEXAN AMG COMMUNITY:
“THE SLS AMG WILL BE DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS.”

AMG 2009 27
he entrance to the AMG bar crosses more S Class models than in the USA”, the nies to settle here too. High-tech and high-
T a little bridge, under which eighty- AMG expert estimates. “Sales of the R Class speed are two qualities not unknown to Ed
eight Koi carp circle. The number 88 are also very good.” Last year, Sunny was Bonelli of the AMG Performance Center at
is synonymous with good luck in the Middle able to hand over the keys to 80 cars, most Park Place Motorcars. The 53-year-old has
Kingdom. In Chinese, the word for the num- of them S 65 AMG models. Photos of the high-octane fuel in his blood. “My father was
ber eight is the same as the term for well-be- handover ceremony are very much in demand an engineer and really got me interested in
ing, success and happiness. That’s why the for the family album. On the other hand, the technology.” When he was only eleven, Ed
Summer Olympic Games in Beijing were Chinese customer base is noticeably reticent rode his first motorcycle, a minibike. As a
opened on 8 April 2008 at 08:08:08 in the in asking for other special requests. “Seeing teenager in New York, he fell in love with mo-
evening. Sunny Tan, China’s most successful is believing – people buy their cars from the tocross. Custom bikes and heavy cruisers
AMG and Mercedes sales partner, surprises brochure. Stretch versions and black paint- were never his thing; at the age of 16, he was
his guests with Chinese symbolism like this work are always the most popular choices.” driving a Swedish Husqvarna. “I was an active
as soon as they reach the reception area of Sunny Tan is actually a passionate golfer, but motocross rider for six years. While at college
the AMG Performance Center in the Daimler these days he hardly ever gets to the course. I worked in motorcycle repair shops to be
Tower Peking in the Chaoyang District. Tan “I had my greatest day at the Mercedes Deal- able to pay for my biking.” This is a sport that
has a sixth sense for business, even his horo- er Tournament, when I got a hole-in-one!” he drives both man and machine to the limit, and
scope says so.“My star sign is the pig,” he laughs heartily. “But why should I waste a lot Ed is just as passionate about his machines
laughs. “That represents really good busi- of time on the golf course when my heart lies today. With his technical know-how in the
ness.” The 175 AMG Performance Centers in with the Mercedes star?” AMG Performance Centre, Bonelli has plenty
America, Asia and Europe use impressive of insider tips from and for AMG fans. For the
Point of Sales elements to emphasize the un-
limited customization options available with
FOR SUNNY past 13 years he has acted as Service Man-
ager, looking after his “family”, the Texan AMG
AMG cars. Last year, AMG presented its Per- TAN, BUSINESS drivers. “We often meet at the racetrack, for
formance Centers to a group of invited guests
in an exclusive event-filled tour of Germany,
IS LIFE example, at the MotorSport Ranch here in
Dallas. Sometimes we even go as far as Tulsa
Japan, China and the USA. This resulted in a Even the cappuccino that Sunny has us in Oklahoma.” The officers of the Highway Pa-
lively exchange between customers, well- served is decorated with a Mercedes star in trol aren’t permitted to turn a blind eye –
known racing drivers and the makers of the cocoa powder. He then hurries us along; he even to the much-admired AMG. This is just
AMG. The second leg of the performance tour wants to give us a tour of boomtown Beijing one of the reasons why there’s hardly another
continues in 2009 in 22 more countries such with its countless building sites. In our CLS country in the world with as many asphalt-
as Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Russia, 63 AMG, we elegantly weave our way through covered leisure tracks as the USA. If you’re
South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. the mass of traffic. “The latest thing here is a member of the MotorSport Ranch, you can
The focus won’t just be on the new E 63 AMG. that only some cars are allowed onto the fulfill your childhood dream by buying a
That’s because it’s common knowledge streets at the same time”, he explains. “It “trackside villa”, taking you closer to motor
that AMG and Mercedes stand for more than works by number plate. Different last num- racing than even Bernie Ecclestone. There’s
just cars. Anyone visiting a few of these spe- bers have a turn on each day of the week.” no limit to the love of fast cars in America,
cialist AMG support centers will encounter Sunny’s AMG has the right number for today. and the members of the Texan AMG commu-
special characteristics typical of the particu- We come to the Square of Heavenly Peace. nity all drive cars made in Affalterbach, with
lar country in which they’re located. The Next to it lies the Forbidden City. Although the C 63 AMG, E 63 AMG and SL 63 AMG
exclusive showrooms also reflect the person- this is crowded with visitors, it’s the only the clear favorites. However, people are really
ality of their operators, true to the motto place where the AMG can find some peace looking forward to the first pure AMG, the
of the creators of the AMG engine: One Man, -
and quiet. At the heavenly temple of Tiantán SLS AMG. “It’s going to be drop-dead gor-
One Engine. is one of the few tranquil areas where city geous”, says Ed, his eyes twinkling. “A Gull-
dwellers and tourists alike can take a little wing model recently drove past me in
aving grown up in Singapore, Sunny time out. Sunny, on the other hand, likes to Affalterbach, but unfortunately it was still
H has lived in Beijing since 1995. “My relax in a completely different way. While it’s camouflaged. However, thankfully, the sound
wife and my three children live in still dark, he climbs into his AMG and drives was unfiltered!” Ed visited AMG at the begin-
Singapore, a six-hour flight from here. That to the Great Wall in time for the sunrise. This ning of April and came home with red-hot
means that a lot of family life centers around is an exceptional trip because life without news about the much-anticipated car. Before
the telephone.” In Asia, long-distance rela- business would be no life at all for Sunny Tan. that, he took the opportunity to visit Italy, the
tionships like this are as much part of a pro- birthplace of his grandparents, for the first
fessional career as the dream of owning one allas, Texas – synonymous for many time in his life, although there’s evidence of
of the automobiles with the star over the radi-
D years with gigantic ranches, herds of Bonelli’s Italian roots in his longtime passion
ator. For Mercedes-Benz, China is the second cattle and oil derricks. These days for football. “My son played soccer for a long
largest market outside Europe after the USA. the magic words are “Silicon Prairie”. After time,” reveals the Juventus Turin fan. “Natu-
In 2008, sales here rose by almost 25% to California, Dallas is one of the biggest high- rally, when I was in Italy, the first thing I did
46,600. As well as the S Class, SUVs are also tech centers in the USA. Texas Instruments, was to visit the stadium to see a game live
very popular, despite all the economic turbu- the inventors of the microprocessor, are lo- from the stands. The atmosphere was inde-
lence. “In 2009, we have succeeded in selling cated here and have attracted other compa- scribable.”

28 AMG 2009
PERFORMANCE IS EVERYTHING:
IMPRESSIVE POINT OF SALES ELEMENTS
EMPHASIZE THE UNLIMITED CUSTOMIZING
OPTIONS AVAILABLE WITH AMG CARS

The change of scenery could hardly be more Thomas grew up with the Mercedes star and crisis. “A lot of money is being spent on luxu-
dramatic. Meadows and woods on gentle is a trained automobile mechanic and electri- ry goods at present because the banks are
slopes, vineyards with top-quality Riesling and cian. His career began with a large Mercedes not paying enough interest”, smiles Thomas.
Pinot grapes, above them massive crags and importer in Zurich. However, his dream job The greatest demand is for the G 55 AMG,
snow-topped peaks. Nestled in the middle of was to be a Formula 1 engineer, which is why C 63 AMG, SLK 55 AMG, E 55 AMG and the
this storybook landscape is the Eastern Swiss he decided to study mechanical engineering. E 63 AMG. “At present we are waiting for
AMG Performance Center in Maienfeld. The When Thomas took over the business in three SLK 63 AMG Black Series.” A Porsche
place is best known as the location of the 1992, he applied his passion for motorsports Center is due to open right next door shortly.
Heidi books. Author John Knittel (Via Mala, to the expansion of the AMG business. Some GT3 drivers order sporty models like
The Travels of Aaron West) also lived here. “Things really took off with the C 36 AMG”, the AMG ML 63 AMG and G 55 AMG from
However, AMG drivers and fans don’t come to he recalls. “Our customers wanted to make Thomas Gut in order to get to the racetrack
“Heidi’s village” primarily for sightseeing or to their AMGs even more personal, so we began faster. “Some customers drive several AMGs
pamper themselves in the neighboring Grand the fine-tuning business in the form of exclu- and exchange these models for new ones
Hotel Hof Ragaz. Their first stop is Thomas sive leather finishes.” Although these days twice each year.” The Eastern Swiss AMG
Gut and his “garage”, as car dealerships and the AMG models and AMG Performance Stu- Performance Center sold 25 AMGs last year;
repair shops are known in Switzerland. dio special features mean that there are for Thomas, the handing over of an AMG Mer-
countless available AMG design options, cedes is always a highlight. “When we sell a
SOME CUSTOMERS nonetheless, some customers want some-
thing even more personal. Everyone has his
compact model it’s a bit like a tasty snack.
But when you serve up an AMG to the cus-
WANT SOMETHING own particular taste and, in an effort to cater tomer, you feel like a four-star chef.”
MORE PERSONAL to this, Thomas likes to get to know his cus-
tomers. If possible, an “AMG Meet and Greet”
I n the newly built dealership we meet takes place every Saturday. The wine expert
Thomas Gut in the AMG Performance organizes incentives that are not always cen-
Centre. His desk is located in the tered on cars. However, there is always plenty
showroom itself. From here, the owner over- of demand for visits to the German Touring
sees day-to-day business. “This is where I can Car Masters (DTM), Golf Trophy and driver
feel the pulse of the business”, he says. “I training courses. Just a few kilometers away
want direct contact with our customers.” The from Maienfeld is the principality of Liechten-
family business, which employs 25 people, stein. Many bankers buy AMG cars. The per-
enjoys a long tradition. Mercedes cars have formance of an AMG is more exciting than
been the focus for Garage Gut AG since 1969. stock market rates – and not just in times of

AMG 2009 29
LIVES
COLLECTING PEOPLE
HORST WACKERBARTH USES HIS RED SOFA TO PHOTOGRAPH REAL LIFE.
AMG CONJURES ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE ARTIST THAT REMIND HIM OF THE TIME
HE FIRST BROKE FREE – AND OF THE FIRST ST. MORITZ ART MASTERS (SAM)

TEXT NICOLE HILLE-PRIEBE PHOTO HEIKO SIMAYER

orst Wackerbarth loves contrasts.The them. This is also where the photo was pro- will be offered a program of art and music at
H Düsseldorf artist seeks out people all duced that proved to be one of the really world-class standards. The “Walk of Art”
over the world: men and women, old great exceptions in Horst Wackerbarth’s life. route will give everyone the chance to experi-
and young, fat and thin, poor and wealthy, The picture shows the artist on his own red ence contemporary art in a wide variety of
outlaws and stars. He sits them down on a couch, his head in his hands, sitting barefoot ways. Works by artists with international rep-
red couch, photographs them and interviews on the roof of an AMG Mercedes. This is one utations like Mike Kelley, Gerhard Richterand
them. Wackerbarth collects these people for of the very few pictures he did not take him- Julian Schnabel will be exhibited in unusual
his encyclopedic life’s work, what he calls the self. AMG transferred the picture onto a can- locations, while right next to AMG, in front of
“Gallery of Mankind”. His aim? To portray a vas measuring almost 100 by 70 centimeters the Badrutt’s Palace, Belgian styleicon Arne
broad cross-section of people from every and recently presented Wackerbarth with the Quinze is showing one of his own high-profile
walk of life and every age group. result as a reminder of SAM and the friend- installations. The churches and five-star ho-
It all started in 1979 with Jack, the elevator ship that was sealed there. tels of St. Moritz are also transformed into art
man. The African-American lift operator from Wackerbarth was 17 when AMG was founded galleries by day, while the evenings are given
New York City was the first person to sit on in 1967. That was the year he stopped playing over to top-class orchestras and soloists,
Wackerbarth’s red couch. He was followed by football, moved out of home and took part in such as the Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna
a long line of people who could hardly have demonstrations. He claims to this day that he and Berlin Philharmonic, Russianstar pianist
been more different: actor Sir Peter Ustinov, doesn’t know what he was protesting against. Denis Matsuev or conductor Valéry Gergiev,
a housekeeper from Moscow, former Soviet However, he has a very clear memory of the who electrified the audience at the SAM pre-
President Mikhail Gorbachev, Barbie, the first AMG he ever drove, back in 1983. It was miere. The highlights for jazz fans are the per-
painter Jörg Immendorff. Each of them is a silver AMG Mercedes 500 SE with a car formances by young artists from the es-
asked a series of questions by Wackerbarth: phone. “That was something very unusual at teemed Montreux Festival, providing some
their deepest wishes and fears, what work the time and really impressed the girls. This contemporary accents in the musical pro-
means to them, or who created the universe. was the perfect car to express your own per- gram.
He always places his bright red sofa in the sonality and individuality.”
middle of the space occupied by his subject. The 59-year-old has already covered several The latest information about the
Sometimes it will be found in a scrap yard, hundreds of thousands of kilometers with his St. Moritz Art Masters can be found at
sometimes in front of the EU Parliament in sofa, travelling through America, Europe and www.stmoritzartmasters.com
Brussels, then in a supermarket or in the mid- Africa on the lookout for images. At the mo-
dle of a forest. The couch becomes a stage ment, Wackerbarth is on the road once again.
set and even, for a select few, a throne, be- For “RUHR.2010 – European Capital of Cul-
cause Wackerbarth gives his subjects his full ture”, he is examining the theme of migration.
attention, so that, for a moment, the whole Time constraints mean that Wackerbarth’s
world revolves around them. sofa will not be making an appearance at this
During the first St. Moritz Art Masters (SAM) year’s event in St. Moritz – much to his re-
in 2008, he set up his couch on a footbridge gret. “The first Art Masters show was very
with a tranquil lake, the sleepy Starzer Forest well received by the public. Where else can
and the snow-capped Alps in the background. you go on holidays and experience nature and
He placed the visitors to the SAM show in contemporary art at the same time?”Visitors
this panorama and took Polaroid pictures of to the second St. Moritz Art Masters 2009

AMG 2009 31
DRIVING

BABY
YOU
CAN
DRIVE
MY
CAR

TEXT JAN VAN ROSSEM PHOTO HEIKO SIMEYER

AMG 2009 33
WHEN AMG PUTS OUT A
SAN FRANCISCO
CALL FOR DRIVER EXPERI-
ENCE TRAINING, IT’S UN-
MONTEREY/CARMEL
USUAL TO FIND A WOMAN
LAGUNA SECA
AMONG THE CANDIDATES.
THE CHARMING EXCEPTION
IN THIS MAN’S WORLD IS
SAN LUIS OBISPO
HIGHWAY 1
THE AMERICAN ROCHELLE
MANNS: SHE’S THE
AMAZON OF THE ASPHALT
LOS ANGELES

CRUISING TO THE RACETRACK:


TAKING THE OCEAN VIEW
ROAD TO LAGUNA SECA

ith only a few centimeters between


W them, the two cars race for the
sharp right corner. The sun is peak-
ing in the sky. High noon. Rochelle Manns
sharply applies the brakes to her C 63 AMG
at the last moment. For the third time the
driver in the SLK 55 AMG tries to pass her.
No chance. Like a professional, she finds the
ideal moment to accelerate her racing ma-
chine with all the power at her disposal.
She glides elegantly into the bend, and her
opponent will once again finish this round
behind her.
Even the land of unlimited opportunity has its
limits. Fairly rigid speed restrictions, for ex-
ample. On the so-called freeways, the maxi-
mum permissible speed is 65 miles per hour,
a little more than 100 kilometers per hour.
Not exactly ideal conditions for the brand-
new AMG C 63 that belongs to Rochelle,
known to everyone simply as “Shelly.” De-
spite all the rules, she finds it “a whole lot of
fun” to drive the powerful automobile at full
throttle. Shelly makes this quite evident dur-
ing the previous day, as she cruises along the
Pacific coast on Ocean View Road between
Monterey and Carmel, California, in a rented
Volvo. Two hours’ drive south of San Francis-
co, the coast takes on a wild aspect. But
Shelly hasn’t come here for the picture-post-
card beauty of the surroundings. She’s here
in search of speed. Twenty miles inland from
Monterey is Laguna Seca, one of the most
challenging racetracks in the United States.
This is where AMG has invited her to a driver’s
training session. Here, away from speed
limits of any kind, customers are given the
opportunity to push themselves to the limit.

34 AMG 2009
AMG 2009 35
On Ocean View Road, a silver-colored SUV
suddenly starts to overtake, streaking past
the Volvo. Shelly lets it go. “I’m feeling re-
laxed today,” she says, and smiles as she
takes in the view of the Pacific surf. It won’t
be until tomorrow, when she hits the tarmac
on the Laguna Seca racetrack, that she will
become an Amazon in what is typically a
man’s field.
Right now, Shelly is simply enjoying the day
and taking it easy. As we ride together
through the spectacular natural surroundings,
we arrange to meet her for a chat. Later we
will enjoy a cup of coffee to the sound of the
breaking waves and will take a quick detour
to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a picturesque little
town with tiny, brightly painted houses pro-
tected from the sun by the famous majestic
arms of the expansive pine trees. Carmel-by-
the-Sea is the place where actor and director
Clint Eastwood held the title of mayor for
many years.
A cell phone rings. Shelly picks up. It’s her
LAGUNA SECA: ONE OF son. “Have you eaten any breakfast?” –
THE MOST CHALLENGING “Really?” – “You’ve gotta eat something.” –
RACETRACKS IN THE US “OK. I’ll call you later.” Shelly looks around
apologetically: “He’s so lazy. He’d rather go
6 hungry than fix himself something to eat.”
8 Intuitively, Shelly looks for somewhere to
RAHAL STRAIGHT
place her phone, experiences a moment of
THE CORKSCREW 7
uncertainty, then puts it back in her purse.
She’s out of her element. After all, she’s not
8A
behind the wheel of her AMG. The conversa-
9
tion continues unabated while Shelly’s hands
RAINEY CURVE
hold the steering wheel and operate the
5
phone at the same time. The 38-year-old is a
real communicator, and today she’s taking it
4 all in: the day, the sunshine, and the chance
10 to get away from work and family for a little
while. Outside the world of AMG, Shelly is in
the IT business. Not only that, she’s very suc-
cessful within that field. So this is the way we
2
find her: a successful, self-confident, single
11 ANDRETTI HAIRPIN parent who grew up in Philadelphia on the
3
East Coast and later moved out here to San
Diego.
1
t is just after one o’clock in the after-
I noon in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The sun
is incredibly hot. Time for a refresh-
ing bite to eat. It’s a good thing that there are
still two seats free in A.W. Shucks Oyster Bar
this Saturday. A.W. Shucks is one of the most
popular meeting places, located on Ocean
Avenue, on the South Side neighborhood be-
tween San Carlos and Dolores. The lively bar
offers freshly caught seafood specialties of all

36 AMG 2009
kinds, ice cold local beer, and huge cocktails, she drove so moderately during our earlier ex-
which are going down a treat here even cursion to the Pacific coast. The guy sitting
though it’s only lunchtime. As we eat our way next to her at the table knows how to get
through a mixed platter of oysters (Shelly rec- around penalties for excessive speeds. He
ommends Tabasco on them – not bad at all), smiles knowingly before sharing his exper-
shrimp, and other delicacies that the surging tise. “You’ve got to make a contribution to the
tides of the Pacific have to offer, she talks en- Police Widows and Orphans Fund. That enti-
thusiastically about the election of Barack tles you to a border around your number plate
Obama as the first black President of the with a 1199 on it. When the sheriffs see your
United States. She’s more than a little skepti- number plate, they tend to turn a blind eye.”
cal, but also full of hope for a man with the
right ideals. A relaxing day is drawing to a helly enjoys plenty of respect even
close. We return along the same breathtaking
S without the 1199 on her number
route, flanked on either side by one of the plate. She drives an AMG. She
most important golf courses in the world, the knows it looks really cool – a lady in a sleek,
famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. The nearer powerful automobile. The other 25 partici-
we get to Monterey, the former center of the pants in the event – all of them male – also
Californian fishing industry, the setting for find it cool. Tomorrow, on the Laguna Seca
John Steinbeck’s famous novel Cannery Row, course, they intend to show the AMG lady
and a popular playground for the Californian that although they may respect her, they are
sea otter, the more clearly we can see the certainly not afraid of this “Amazon of the
discrepancy between nature and human habi- Asphalt.” Shelly Manns wouldn’t have expect-
tation. ed anything else. She smiles impishly.

here is something special taking


T place on the far side of the road as
ROCHELLE MANNS IS PICTURED IN the wild Pacific coast puts on a dra-
ACTION BEHIND THE WHEEL OF HER matic natural performance as the sun sets,
AMG AND TALKING TO MARIO SPITZNER, revealing a series of wide beaches and
DIRECTOR MARKETING; BRANDING bizarre cliff formations. On the other side of
& SALES OF MERCEDES-AMG – ON Sunset Drive is a seemingly endless collec-
LAGUNA SECA’S RACE TRACK tion of architectural monstrosities: white
columns that look as if they came from an-
cient Greece stand in front of a dilapidated
blockhouse, side-by-side with small houses
with brutish stone façades and brash, orange-
colored window frames. All of this in a loca-
tion with a priceless view. In the evening, the
AMG drivers and fans meet for the welcome
dinner, a 48-hour gathering of a passionate
family of speed freaks. People get to know
each other here, Shelly among them. If not
the first, then definitely the second question
on everyone’s lips when they turn to their
neighbor at the table is: “And what do you
drive?” The advantages of the various AMG
models are discussed over a plate of mussels,
salad and steak, and a glass of local wine.
One or two glasses later and the experiences
and anecdotes really start to flow. And – sur-
prise, surprise – many of the stories have
something to do with speed and speed re-
strictions. Shelly wants to race as soon as
possible and is anxious to get the necessary
SCCA license. The only problem might be her
previous run-ins with the Highway Patrol for
speeding. That’s also one of the reasons why

AMG 2009 37
A Daimler Brand

Climb the corporate ladder


enough that you still get to
The new E 63 AMG. Master of Business Acceleration.
www.mercedes-amg.com /E63AMG

Fuel consumption (combined, extra urban, urban): 12.6/9.1/18.7 l/100 km: CO -Emission (combined): 295 g/km.
The figures are not based on an individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the product offer; they are provided solely for purposes of comparison between different vehicle models.
just
justhigh
high
drive.
drive.
SHOW
ROOM
1
SL 65 AMG BLACK SERIES
THE POWER PACK

CYLINDERS V12
DISPLACEMENT CM3 5,980
OUTPUT KW/HP 493/670
AT 5,400 RPM
TORQUE 1,000 NM

TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS


5-SPEED AUTOMATIC
0 -100 KM/H 3.8 SECONDS
MAX KM/H 320 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED

40 AMG 2009
THE NEW SIDE SKIRT CLADDING, 265/35 R 19 FORMAT TYRES IN FRONT AND 325/30 R 20 ON THE BACK,
AS WELL AS THE “V12 BITURBO” LOGO. THE EXTERIOR OF THE NEW SL 65 AMG BLACK SERIES
EMPHASIZES THE DOMINANCE AND PERFORMANCE OF THE COUPÉ

493 kW/670 HP at 5,400 rpm? Its torque has lines and a larger rear window for the SL 65
LESS WEIGHT AND MORE been electronically limited to 1,000 newton- AMG Black Series. Other aerodynamically im-
PERFORMANCE: THE meters. New to the SL 65 AMG Black Series portant elements are the carbon-fiber rear
REDESIGN OF NEARLY ALL twelve-cylinder engine are the turbochargers wing that extends up to 12 centimeters
with an enlarged helical cross-section and op- at speeds of over 120 km/h, increasing
ITS BODY COMPONENTS timized wastegate channels to guide the aspi- downforce at the back by 50 kilograms at
AND AN UNBEATABLE rated air. Then come the rear mufflers and 200 km/h, and a rear apron with diffuser fins.
TWELVE-CYLINDER ENGINE- the 30% more powerful low-temperature Wide fenders were needed in order to accom-
MAKE THE SL 65 AMG charged air coolers, which provide for greater modate the impressive-looking tires – 265/35
stability and enable maximum performance. R 19 to the front and 325/30 R 20 to the rear.
BLACK SERIES A TOP Because many components are made from
MODEL, FAR SUPERIOR The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 5-speed auto- extremely light composite carbon fiber, the
TO THE COMPETITION matic transmission with four driving pro- SL 65 AMG Black Series weighs 250 kilo-
grams is tailor-made to benefit from the grams less than the SL 65 AMG and boasts a
generous levels of power available. The auto- high power-to-weight ratio of 2.79 kg/HP.
matic engine revs up as you downshift, Racing sport is the dominant theme in the in-
delivering real pleasure in both acoustic terior. Black nappa leather, carbon trim, an
hey really should only allow people terms and driving dynamism. The incredible Alcantara-covered roof. In addition, there are
T with a great deal of self-control be- performance of this super sports car also new AMG bucket sports seats in composite
hind the wheel of the new SL 65 means a driving experience to match: It takes carbon fiber, a small flat-bottomed AMG per-
AMG Black Series. The twelve-cylinder engine only 3.8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. formance steering wheel with aluminum shift
floods every vessel and artery with endor- The 200 km/h mark is reached after only 11.0 paddles, a black speedometer with 360 km/h
phins. Production of these pleasure hor- seconds; maximum speed is measured at scale and a white tachometer with four inte-
mones starts to go into overdrive as soon as 320 km/h and is electronically limited. When grated LEDs that indicate the optimum shift-
the top model from Affalterbach comes into it comes to aesthetics, the car is no less ing point while driving. An adjustable coilover
view. You can clearly see the thrill in the spectacular. The body has been redesigned chassis with light aluminum wheel bearings
expression that the SL 65 AMG Black Series and has large air slits in the front skirt. A was developed especially for AMG’s top model.
evokes on the faces of its drivers. This front splitter made from exposed carbon In comparison with the SL 65 AMG, it has
is hardly surprising. After all, the AMG bi- complements the aerodynamic design. AMG 115 millimeters more track width at the front
turbocharged twelve-cylinder engine has has chosen not to use the variable roof of the and 103 mm more at the rear. The result:
few competitors. What other car with a SL and has instead modeled a rigid compos- rapid and reliable handling. And driving pleas-
displacement of just 5,980 cm3 can offer ite carbon-fiber roof with significantly lower ure that triggers all kinds of euphoric feelings.

POWER PACK
THE NEW AMG REAR SKIRT WITH DIFFUSER IN EXPOSED
CARBON COMPLETES THE EXTREMELY STOCKY, MUSCU-
LAR APPEARANCE OF THIS TWELVE-CYLINDER-ENGINE
AUTOMOBILE. A FIBER REAR WING EXTENDS BY
12 CENTIMETERS AT SPEEDS OF OVER 120 KM/H, SIGNIF-
ICANTLY INCREASING DOWNFORCE ON THE REAR AXLE

AMG 2009 41
SHOW
ROOM
2
S63 AMG
S65 AMG
CLASSY AND STRONG
CYLINDERS V8 / V12
DISPLACEMENT CM3 6,208 / 5,980
OUTPUT KW/HP 386/525 / 450/612
AT 6,800 / 4,750 – 5,100 RPM
TORQUE NM 630 / 1,000 NM
AT 5,200 / 2,000 – 4,000 RPM
TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC /
AMG SPEEDSHIFT 5-SPEED AUTOMATIC
0 -100 KM/H 4.6 / 4.4 SECONDS
MAX KM/H 250 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED

42 AMG 2009
CONTROL THE NEW TORQUE VECTORING BRAKE INITIATES A SHORT BRAKING ACTION ON THE INSIDE REAR WHEEL,
WHICH GUIDES THE VEHICLE MORE ACCURATELY THROUGH CURVES

A NEW LOOK AND FURTHER wheels. Improved cornering is the aim of the enormous power reserves of the AMG models:
new Torque Vectoring Brake – another tech- the S 63 AMG sprints to 100 km/h in 4.6 sec-
MODERNIZATION UNDER nological innovation that cleverly utilizes onds, thanks to a 386 kW/525 HP V8, while
THE HOOD: THE TWO ESP® capabilities. It causes a short, targeted the 450 kW/612 HP V12 bi-turbo engine of
AMG S-CLASS SEDANS braking action on the inside rear wheel as the S 65 AMG accelerates to the 100 km/h
soon as the Affalterbach S-class model ap- mark in just 4.4 seconds. Last, but certainly
HAVE BEEN SUBTLY BUT proaches a sharp curve at speed. As a result, not least, the outward appearance of the
SIGNIFICANTLY REVISED the vehicle turns the corner in a smooth, cal- S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG have also been en-
culated manner. Superior maneuverability, hanced. The radiator grill has been sharp-
and even more driver safety, are the tangible ened, the bi-xenon headlights boast titanium-
results. Direct steering supports more re- colored lenses, and AMG-exclusive LED day-
sponsive handling. The aim of these innova- light driving lights have been inserted in the
tions is to perfect the art of driving and in- new front apron. Also new in the two models
I s it possible to improve upon perfec- crease the driver’s enjoyment, already is the rear apron with black diffuser, painted
tion? The new AMG S 63 and S 65 undoubtedly high, even further. the same color as the car.
models show that it really is. Though The sporty overhauled luxury class sedans In the interior, AMG, like its customers, set-
they exhibited no signs of being outdated, also take their place atop the competition in tles for nothing less than high-quality materi-
AMG nevertheless thoroughly overhauled the terms of safety, thanks to cameras and radar als. Leather, AMG sports seats, climate con-
top S-class models. While cosmetic refresh- systems. These include assistive systems trol, massage and driving dynamics functions,
ment certainly formed part of this upgrade, such as Attention Assist, Adaptive High Beam and high-gloss walnut insets create a refined
the most astounding changes were made be- Assist, Lane Holding Assist, and the PRE- atmosphere while retaining functionality.
neath the sporty, classy exterior. Both AMG S- SAFE® brake. This emergency brake is linked There is one more small surprise: The CO-
class models are now virtually immune to to the vehicle distance sensor and engages MAND APS has a SPLITVIEW display, enabling
crosswinds. The AMG sports suspension with automatically upon threat of an accident, the driver to keep GPS driving directions in
Active Body Control (ABC) uses the existing functioning as an invisible crumple zone. view while the copilot simultaneously watch-
yaw sensors and lateral acceleration sensors Those who wish can order a windscreen cam- es a film – on the same monitor.
of the ESP® electronic stability program to era, which automatically recognizes traffic
identify gusts of wind, thereby eliminating signs with speed limits and then warns the
their effects on handling in a fraction of a driver. Investing in this Speed Limit Assistant
second by varying the load distribution to the seems particularly sensible in light of the

IT DOESN’T MATTER
WHETHER THE ENGINE UNDER THE HOOD IS A V8
OR V12 BI-TURBO – PERFORMANCE IS NO PROBLEM
FOR AMG’S NEW FIRST-CLASS SEDANS. THESE TOP
MODELS CATAPULT THEMSELVES FROM ZERO TO ONE
HUNDRED IN 4.6 AND 4.4 SECONDS, RESPECTIVELY

AMG 2009 43
SPECIAL

A NEW
WORLD
OF
TECHNOLOGY,
TYPES, AND
TEST CIRCUITS:
THE SLS
AMG SPECIAL
C
197
AMG 2009 45
LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION THROUGHOUT: THE SLS AMG EXHAUST SYSTEM

46 AMG 2009
A DREAM
JOB WITH
CHALLENGES
FROM THE ARCTIC
CIRCLE TO DEATH
VALLEY: AMG’S EN-
GINEERS AND TEST
DRIVERS RACE
THEIR PROTOTYPES
ACROSS EVERY
CONTINENT. WE
ACCOMPANIED G etting in through the window: Ralph
Stetter couldn’t have dreamt it, but
board; they are responsible for the climate –
inside the SLS AMG.
THEM ON THEIR he has no choice. A photographer,
camouflaged as a tourist, lurks with her tele- hey start at 1,600 metres and push
T
SIXTEEN-MONTH- photo lens. And here is the SLS AMG with its the SLS AMG up to more than 4,200
highly slung Gullwing doors – clearly a cover metres. “There are no better passes
LONG ELITE photo. Automotive magazines all over the for this job than Pikes Peak,” explains

TRAINING FOR A world would pay a lot of money for it. But
Stetter, an AMG test engineer, doesn’t allow
Schmid. “We start at over twenty degrees,
and after an hour of driving we even have
THOROUGHBRED her the indulgence of that trophy. In through
the window, then, feet first. Colleagues laugh.
temperatures below zero, depending on the
season and the weather conditions. The air
ATHLETE: The 40-year-old, however, cuts a good figure
as he slides in. The “General Vehicle Testing
conditioner has to adjust optimally to that.
The 38-year-old engineer wants to keep driv-
THE SLS AMG Engineer” is currently working on the SLS ing, just like his boss and partner Timo Blass-
AMG project. Stetter is a pro, having gar- nitz, 37, but first they are occupied by curious
nered experience with Mercedes, Bosch, and day-trippers. “Is that the new Viper?” the
TEXT FRANK MÜHLING stout American would like to know. Blassnitz
Porsche. He knows just about all the tricks,
PHOTO MARKUS BOLSINGER including how to hold off persistent journal- just smiles and leaves him confused with a
ANDREAS LINDLAHR ists. “When we camouflaged the car, we at- sly, “I don’t know.” The test drivers are famil-
HARRY RUCKABERLE/DEBEOS STUDIOS tached a great deal of importance to making iar with this kind of enthusiasm. One recent
HEIKO SIMAYER sure that the SLS AMG was not identifiable as morning, a note was stuck to a prototype in
a Gullwing. That’s why the typical Mercedes front of the hotel with a request: “Please, let
door handle is there.” The door handle, of me drive your Batmobile!” The SLS AMG crew
course, has no purpose. Engines running, also includes Ralph Stoll and Frank Müller.
onward through the legendary Death Valley. Müller, an engineer, had previously been
Merciless heat delivers the optimal testing working for three years in the Mercedes plant
conditions, as well as opportunities for proto- in the American city of Tuscaloosa before
type hunters. It is a classic game of cat and joining AMG in 2007. His feet had hardly
mouse, something Stetter and his AMG col- touched the ground before he received an
leagues have had to live with since the sum- e-mail with his first assignment. He was to
mer of 2008. The SLS AMG prototypes really get hold of an old Gullwing in order to gather
draw all the hacks. Even in camouflage, its information. The task: a rain test to see
proportions shine through: long bonnet, occu- where the water flowed when the Gullwing
pant cell positioned way back, large wheels, was opened. For him, an unbelievable experi-
wide track. For a sexy finish, a firm rear end ence. “I’m proud and grateful for the opportu-
with a striking spoiler – which will, in the pro- nity to work on the development of the SLS
duction model, be replaced by an extendable AMG. A time like this will never come
rear wing. These are proportions that have again,” says the 44-year-old with a hint of
been entrusted to the test drivers for quite a emotion. At present, Müller is in the process
while. Stetter, naturally, but also the congen- of organizing the next summer trials with the
ial duo of Timo Blassnitz and Markus Schmid. competition cars of the sports car elite. From
Their mission is the well-being of everyone on Porsche to Ferrari, from Aston Martin to

AMG 2009 47
THE MIXTURE OF
TIME DIFFERENCES,
CLIMATE CHANGES,
AND HIGH-PRES-
SURE SCHEDULES
ARE SOMETIMES
TOO MUCH
FOR EVEN THE
STRONGEST MEN.
COLDS AND BACK-
ACHE ARE AS
Corvette. A dream job with its share of hard-
ship. After eight hours of test driving, it is
MUCH A PART OF
time to analyze the measurement results,
then exchange them with colleagues in Affal-
THE JOB AS THE
terbach and, in the middle of the night, an- OIL-STAINED HANDS CYLINDERS V8
swer important e-mails. Whether in the US,
Sweden, South Africa, Spain, or Papenburg, ON THE CREW DISPLACEMENT CM3
OUTPUT KW/HP
6,208
420/571
two weeks of test driving is the rule. A real
test for one’s private life. Hobbies, fellow club
OF MECHANICS TORQUE NM 650
members, and friends have to wait. Only a AT 4,750 RPM
cell phone, e-mail and webcam remain for TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT
contact with girlfriends, wives, and children. 7-SPEED SPORTS GEARBOX
“I have been with AMG since 2005, and him once again, after lining up three SLS AMG 0 -100 KM/H 3.8 SECONDS
I don’t know a single soul in Affalterbach,” prototypes and five comparison vehicles at MAX KM/H 315 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED
laughs the 29-year-old Stoll. “My girlfriend 6:30 am in front of a workshop far away from
still lives in my hometown, near the Swiss home. As the Gullwings sparkled in the morn-
border.” There’s no complaining, however, not ing sun, Alber had no doubt: The chance to be
even for Lars Henzler: “We all know full well involved in the development of a car as spe-
that other people pay a lot of money on holi- cial as the SLS AMG is one that doesn’t come
days to see as much of the world as we do.” the way of every engineer. And thus it contin-
The 39-year-old vehicle dynamics testing en- ues to remain a much-loved dream for all test
gineer looks after active safety, among other drivers to trial cars whichwon’t be standing in
things. His area of specialization: The adjust- showrooms until months later – for that, it’s
ment of ESP, ARS, ABS, and the rest. – worth getting in through the window.
regardless of whether on the racetrack or a
frozen lake.

ho would swap places with the AMG


W colleagues who have a classic office
job? A collective shaking of heads –
even though they are on the move for 150
days a year. In addition, jetlag has an impact
on both mind and body. The mixture of time
differences, changes in climate, and deadline
pressure sometimes knocks even the
strongest men for a loop. Colds and back
pain are as much a part of the job as the oil
stains on the hands of the crew of mechanics
looking after the test vehicles. Little free
time, time constraints, and yet: “We have the
best job in the world,” according to Peter
Alber, 44. That was recently made clear to

48 AMG 2009
ACID TEST IN ALL CLIMATE ZONES: THE SLS AMG ON PIKES PEAK
THE HEART
OF THE NEW GULL-
WING CAR BEATS DEEP
WITHIN THE ALU-
MINUM SPACE FRAME
IN THE FORM OF
A FRONTAL EIGHT- C
CYLINDER MID-ENGINE 197
MOTOR BLOCK (RIGHT) AND SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR THE DASHBOARD (LEFT)

50 AMG 2009
AMG 2009 51
CHARACTERISTIC GULLWING DOOR: SLS AMG PROTOTYPES REVEAL THEIR SECRET

AMG 2009 53
C
197
REFINED, FUNCTIONAL – AND COMFORTABLE: THE SLS AMG COCKPIT
RAREFIED SPACE
AN INSTRUMENT
PANEL REMINIS-
CENT OF AN AIR-
CRAFT, DIALS
LIKE THOSE IN
A COCKPIT –
THE INTERIOR OF
THE SLS AMG genuine sports car – or an aircraft. White,
backlit dials with rhodanized sunbursts, clear
tral console are available in two versions, and
even in the standard version the designers
FULFILLS THE graphics, and red pointers lend it a purist have consciously chosen only the best, finish-

PROMISES MADE look: minimalist and functional, but with the


attractive charm of precision instruments.
ing the interior of the SLS AMG with genuine
metal “Silver Shadow.” The other alternative
BY THE EXTERIOR: The speedometer suggests why things have
to be this way: It goes up to 360 km/h; given
is carbon. This looks sportier and more
minimalist and is the perfect match for the
A SUPERIOR that the maximum speed is 315 km/h, it per-
mits only the necessary margin of freedom.
gullwing design, although it also costs a little
more.
SPORTS CAR The set of instruments is rounded off by a
central display and a shift indicator with sev- aturally, the SLS AMG also offers
EXPERIENCE en LEDs. The AMG three-spoke oval cross-
N details that are taken for granted at
section sports steering wheel measures just Mercedes-Benz AMG. These include
360 millimeters in diameter and flattens to- AMG sport seats for optimum lateral hold and
TEXT HANS SCHILDER
wards the bottom. Behind it glitter the metal comfort on long journeys, THERMOTRONIC
shifting paddles. A glance downwards will automatic air conditioning, a tempomat in-
reveal a set of stainless steel pedals with rub- cluding SPEEDTRONIC, PARKTRONIC, rain
ber ridges, giving you the feeling that you are sensor, headlight assist, KEYLESS-GO, and
driving a racing car – as indeed you should in the already mentioned COMAND APS multi-
the 571 HP Gullwing, with its legendary line- media system. An irresistible extra for many
age. The powerful central console of the mod- people might be the newly developed 1,000-
ern gullwing car means that all controls in the Watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with com-
AMG DRIVE UNIT are turned towards the driv- puterized distribution of the music signals, so
er. Using an AMG E-SELECT level, the driver that the cockpit of the SLS offers veritable
can inform the AMG dual-clutch transmission concert hall conditions as it glides across the
he designers of the new SLS AMG of his requirements via Drive-by-Wire technol- asphalt. Like the exterior, the interior of the
T must have thought frequently about ogy. And doesn’t the selector lever somehow SLS AMG reflects exactly what it is that
the joys of flying. It’s not just the remind you of the joystick on an aircraft? marks out this top-class sports car and its
gullwing doors; the cockpit indicates, too, That can’t be pure coincidence. Centrally pedigree: authenticity at its most attractive.
that the designers were inspired by machines placed above the central console, the 7-inch
capable of flight. Here the support structure screen of the COMAND APS multimedia sys-
for the instrument panel sweeps across the tem provides information about the car radio,
entire width of the vehicle, almost like a DVD changer, and telephone, while the GPS
plane’s fuselage. Beneath it are four eye- navigation advice can also be viewed here.
catching, metal-cased ventilation nozzles that The SLS AMG is clearly a purebred sports car.
look like the engines of a fast jet. But let’s The interior is refreshingly reduced, but defi-
begin on the outside: entering and exiting the nitely not Spartan. A certain level of comfort
car pose no problem. The gullwing doors is to be expected and, above all, an atmos-
open to an angle of 70 degrees, wide enough phere in which you feel at ease. This is as-
for even the tallest adult. To close the doors sured by the choice of materials used in the
you simply pull down on a strap and the SLS interior: nappa leather seats with decorative
AMG secures the hatches. The straps are contrasting panels. The same leather is also
easy to reach even from the low-slung seats, used to outfit the doors and the dashboard.
positioned just 369 millimeters from the Alternatively, other exclusive types of leather
road. Two very large round instruments, en- are available. However, even the basic model
cased in tubular metal frames to prevent feels elegant, thanks to the use of quality ma-
glare, are just what you’d expect to find in a terials. All decorative elements and the cen-

AMG 2009 55
THE GOAL
IS
PERFECTION
PRECISION DOWN
TO THE LAST
DETAIL — THAT IS
HIS PROFESSION.
TOBIAS MOERS IS
THE HEAD OF THE
VEHICLE TESTING
TEAM AT
MERCEDES-AMG. fter a few moments, we’re ready: athlete – as in the case of the SLS AMG.
A
HE AND HIS TEAM The tree falls. Exactly where it was
supposed to. Tobias Moers gives a
But what brings this passionate auto enthusi-
ast to be trudging through the undergrowth
HAVE ALSO SUB- thumbs-up and smiles. The 42-year-old didn’t and felling trees on a rainy and cold Saturday
expect anything else. Perfection is his passion. morning? How do his management job at
JECTED THE NEW Both at work and here in the forest. Mercedes AMG and his enthusiasm for cut-

SLS AMG TO INTEN- This five-hectare piece of land in the Swabian


forest is his own personal counterweight to
ting-edge technology fit with the sweaty
manual labor here in the forest? Don’t they
SIVE TESTING. his job. Here Tobias Moers moves things pri-
marily under his own strength; here it smells
contradict one another?

A DATE WITH THE like moss, like pine needles and fresh wood.
And as soon as the power saw again falls
T obias Moers rebuts this viewpoint
quickly, lucidly, and precisely: ”My
STRESS-TEST silent, the air is filled only with the nearby family is the most important thing;
murmur of a softly meandering brook. they give me strength. The forest is my balance.
EXPERTS One comes across men like Moers seldom in I only feel good if I exhaust myself physically
life. They don’t fit the usual templates. On the on a regular basis. But jogging isn’t for me.
TEXT HANS SCHILDER one hand, he seems made for this – moving I have to do real physical labor.“ No one
through the forest with a trained eye and in- would hesitate to believe him on that point.
credible calm; guiding the balance between There he stands, wiry, 1.8 meters tall and
growth and restriction. At the same time, this only 80 kilograms.
enigmatic, occasionally very charming man is
at home when immersed in the world of the He generally sets off on Saturdays. With his
fastest and most attractive automobiles – in MB-Trac tractor outfitted with a winch, at
Affalterbach. least two power saws, axe, felling wedges
In his position there as ”Director of General and, of course, the obligatory safety equip-
Vehicle Development,“ as his business card ment.
informs us, Tobias Moers is among other His work in the forest is more than just a
things the head of the AMG testing team. He meaningful escape from the everyday.
and his crew have escorted the SLS AMG on its ”A forest has to be managed sustainably.
journey from prototype to test model to perfect That’s the only way to guarantee its survival
production car. for the coming generations,“ is how Moers
explains his commitment. Dealing with trees
M arathon tests in three continents, damaged by bark beetles or carrying out
hundreds of thousands of test kilo- small, professional forest thinnings are part
meters, as well as endless endurance of this idea as well. The visible result: 120
tests between the freezing temperatures of cubic meters of firewood stored behind his
the poles and the brutal heatwaves of the earth’s house. Sawed and carefully stacked.
furnaces are only the outward extremes of While the five-hectare piece of woodland
such a task. Under his watch a prototype will remains his official counterweight, he did,
be pushed to its limits that it might ultimately however, have enough energy left for an old
become the ideal automobile. An exemplary half-timbered house. Thanks to his dedication,

56 AMG 2009
IN HIS FOREST, TOBIAS MOERS OF AMG GROWS: ”EVERY DAY I LEARN SOMETHING NEW“

the once dilapidated building became a small ability to apply himself passionately to a prob- only a part of him has changed roles.
jewel. Needless to say, the demolition and lem and then ease off only once it was solved, A part of him always remains an auto enthusiast.
rebuilding of the roof framework were briskly and also from his many years of experience of Tobias Moers frees the felled fir of its thick
carried out in one – to use his phrasing – ”extremely keeping everything in perspective. branches with a roaring chainsaw. You can
long vacation“ of nearly three weeks of massive see that he’s thrilled by the work. In this world,
personal effort and daily work periods of twelve T esting the space-frame design was in his forest, he is content.
hours. In the evening, he often went ”briefly“ into certainly a particular challenge,“ re- He invests even more enthusiasm, and far
the office, as project C 197, the new SLS AMG, calls Moers. ”In the end, the SLS AMG more time, in what is perhaps his greatest
had at this time recently begun. has the first fully aluminum body construction passion: Mercedes-AMG. For men like Tobias
from the House of Daimler.“ The path to opti- Moers, fascinating technology and tenacious
A colleague who works weekdays in mal results led through many preliminary trials forest labor are not a contradiction. For
Affalterbach will frequently join him with individual components and parts in an him, they are the perfect complement to one
in the woods. Teamwork seems to attempt to obtain a solid basis for computer another.
suit Moers. When testing the SLS AMG, his simulations.
crew worked closely with colleagues in the Based on the findings from these simulations,
Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC) in the parts were optimized and repeatedly returned
Sindelfingen. ”We simply complemented to the testing facility. ”Until everything matched,“
each other perfectly in this project. It’s im- says the man in the upmarket lumberjack outfit,
portant to point that out. In the early stages and one notices that those individual meetings
we made arrangements for the individual as- and testing configurations are once again pass-
signments, and the teams integrated really ing through his thoughts.
well. It was a fantastic act of cooperation.“ The transitions in Tobias Moers’ world are
The entire team was able to profit from Moers’ fluid. When one sees Moers here in the forest,

AMG 2009 57
DREAM JOB WITH HARDSHIP. TEST DRIVERS EXPERIENCE EXTREME CONDITIONS
C
197
FINAL EXAMINATIONS ON THREE CONTINENTS: A TEST MARATHON FOR THE SLS AMG

AMG 2009 59
POWER MAN
HE THINKS IN
TERMS OF
HORSEPOWER,
TORQUE, AND
SOPHISTICATED
VALVE TRAINS.
ASPIRATION
CHANNELS,
CRANKSHAFT
RIGIDITY, AND
REDUCED CO2
EMISSIONS FILL
THE IMAGINATION A s he opens the garage door with a born Eichler as he explains his motivation for
flourish, a smirk appears on his face. changing jobs. “Also, as far as my father was
OF FRIEDRICH The smirk then widens into a broad, concerned, the car with the star was the only

EICHLER. THE friendly grin. Friedrich Eichler always enjoys


seeing the astonished looks he gets from visi-
choice. I suppose I had a positive prejudice.”
Friedrich Eichler manages around 180 people
RESULT: A TRUE tors who peer into his garage next to his mod-
ern family home high above Tübingen for the
and numerous additional personnel from
outside companies. “I’ve got a great team, full
MASTERPIECE, THE first time. This is the home of an amazing
collection of motorcycles. The collection in-
of youth and enthusiasm,” he explains. His
first big project was the high-power engine
SLS AMG ENGINE cludes a Suzuki racing bike, a delicate-looking for the SLS AMG. An aspirated engine with
but extremely powerful 180 HP Ducati, a KTM 420 kW/571 HP at 6,800 rpm and a torque of
racer with slicks for indoor racing (yes, peo- 650 Nm from a capacity of 6.3 liters is the
TEXT HANS SCHILDER
ple do race indoors!). These are all extremely unique result. This engine easily catapults the
rare pieces that represent the top of their new gullwing car into the category of super
class. Next to these is a motorcycle for his sports car.
wife, a mountain bike, even a wooden soap-
box car with wire-spoke wheels and this is here does this stunning perform-
just a selection of what’s on offer. “You’ve got
W ance come from? “We took the
to hold on to some of your dreams,” he says. familiar AMG 6.3 liter V8 aspirated
“Imagination is important and imagination engine as a starting point,” explains Eichler.
requires stimulation.” “This already had an excellent pedigree as a
sports engine. By making a few modifications
he everyday car of the man of the we were able to produce the new engine for
T house is parked in front of the the SLS AMG from this with a modest amount
garage – he currently drives a Mer- of effort. This fit in very well with the ambi-
cedes-Benz C 63 AMG. But this changes fre- tious concept.” A modest amount of effort?
quently.That’s because Friedrich Eichler is the For Friedrich Eichler this means: “We
Head of Engine Development in the High- changed the oil supply and implemented a
Performance Department at Mercedes-AMG dry sump lubrication to give us greater lateral
GmbH. It all makes sense now. The 49-year- acceleration. We reworked the complete in-
old has had a passion for high-performance take system and also improved the cooling
engines that stretches back for decades. system; we changed from cast pistons for
Having held positions as an engine developer forged aluminum pistons and optimized the
with other high-profile German car manufac- connecting rods …” – Eichler seems almost
turers, he moved to Mercedes-AMG in Affal- unstoppable when he talks about the pain-
terbach in 2007. “I was very attracted by the staking work carried out to take the SLS AMG
idea of playing a decisive role in building the engine to the top of its class. The fact is that
first complete car from AMG,” says Vienna- Eichler’s team changed and redesigned over

60 AMG 2009
AMG CHIEF ENGINE DEVELOPER FRIEDRICH EICHLER AND HIS PRIVATE FLEET: “IMAGINATION IS IMPORTANT, AND IMAGINATION REQUIRES STIMULATION.”

120 components in the basic engine. He is result of numerous workshops. “Everyone ance with enormous character, but will also
particularly proud of a regulated oil pump, had the opportunity to suggest ideas. I’ve got use less fuel. He is thinking about ways to
which belongs to the sliding vane positive some really good people, so the we get some combine high performance, sportiness, and
displacement pump (Eichler likes to mention really great ideas.” low CO2 emissions. These thoughts occupy
this component because even most engineers his mind during the day in Affalterbach, or
can hardly manage to pronounce it correctly). T he ingenious ideas already imple- during the small amount of leisure time he
“This reduces fuel consumption by two to mented in the SLS AMG engine in- dedicates to motorcycling, skiing, or
three percent,” he explains with satisfaction, clude the so-called neumatic spring mountaineering – the other passions of this
making it clear that Mercedes-AMG regards concept. It’s worth quoting Eichler verbatim engine expert.
low fuel consumption as an important factor here: “This was the first time we took a con-
even in high-performance cars. sistent approach in creating a gas-tight space
under the piston in a standard engine. The
owever, the greatest challenge for trapped air is compressed as the air moves
H the engine designer was the opti- downwards, thereby storing up energy and
mization of the entire acoustic pack- then releasing it again. This does away with
age. “We solved the problem by forming a the typical flow loss in the crankcase. The
task force. We call them focus teams. These result of the sophisticated pneumatic spring
teams concentrate one hundred percent on effect: better performance and lower fuel con-
specific tasks and are relieved of their normal sumption.” At present the development team
day-to-day duties.” Eichler is a confirmed is working on how to minimize fuel consump-
team player. That’s why the basic concept for tion. After all, Eichler is convinced that AMG
the new high-performance engine was the engines will continue to unite great perform-

AMG 2009 61
62 AMG 2009
C
197
ALUMINIUM SPACEFRAME WITH JUST 4 PERCENT STEEL: RAW BODY WITH ENGINE BLOCK (TOP); CHASSIS WITH FORGED ALUMINIUM WISHBONES (BOTTOM)

AMG 2009 63
TRACK AND FIELD
SPECIALIST
THERE’S NO DENY-
ING THIS IS A
GOOD-LOOKING
CAR. BUT THE SLS
AMG ALSO OUT-
CLASSES THE
COMPETITION IN
TERMS OF TECH-
NOLOGY AND sheet. This aim couldn’t have been achieved
PERFORMANCE, with conventional steel construction. For this
reason, the constructors decided to manufac-
PARTICULARLY ture all body panels and the entire body shell
structure entirely of aluminum. In addition,
WHEN IT COMES they designed a bearing structure made from
aluminum profiles. Die-cast aluminum compo-
TO WEIGHT MAN- nents take over the role of joining, used at

AGEMENT. THE points of intersection and everywhere where


substantial forces have to be transferred – at
NEW GULLWING the suspension mounts, for example, or hang-
ing the gullwing doors. This aluminum space

C FROM MERCEDES-
BENZ SETS NEW
frame, weighing just 241 kilograms, repre-
sents the backbone, as it were, of the SLS
AMG. Each individual component is optimized

197 STANDARDS
TEXT HANS SCHILDER
to deliver the right amount of rigidity desired
at each particular point while requiring the
least possible volume of materials. This intelli-
gent lightweight construction saves weight
in low-stress areas. At the same time, the
CYLINDERS V8 structure is very stiff – important for precise
DISPLACEMENT CM3 6,208 handling – and, thanks to precisely defined
OUTPUT KW/HP 420/571 force dispersion, fulfills the high safety re-
quirements of Mercedes-Benz in the case of
TORQUE NM 650 an accident. Only four percent of the alu-
AT 4,750 RPM minum space frame body is composed of
TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT ultra-high strength, hot-forged steel. It is inte-
7-SPEED SPORTS GEARBOX
grated into the A-pillars and provides a high
0 -100 KM/H 3.8 SECONDS
N aturally, the first thing they all raved level of occupant safety. The heart of the new
MAX KM/H 315 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED
about were the gullwing doors. Gullwing beats with eight cylinders, and with
However, superior technology and a front mid-engine layout, is located deep in
incredible power also play a role in making the aluminum space frame behind the front
the SLS AMG an extraordinary car on every axle (front/rear weight distribution: 48 to 52
count. Connoisseurs recognize in the new percent).
Mercedes-Benz Gullwing, developed inde- This results in a low center of gravity, which
pendently by the AMG performance brand, in turn enables high cornering speeds. The
an uncompromising concept that makes it naturally aspirated V8 engine delivers
exceptional in terms of driving dynamics. 420 kW/571 HP at 6,800 rpm from its 6.3
As every unnecessary kilogram is a hindrance liter capacity. Especially remarkable: A maxi-
when accelerating, braking, and cornering at mum torque of 650 Nm at 4,750 rpm (at
speed, the designers placed the lowest possi- 2,550 rpm, the figure is already 545 Nm).
ble weight, notwithstanding a high degree of No naturally aspirated engine in this engine
rigidity, well up at the top of the specification class achieves more. Needless to say, this

64 AMG 2009
with no loss of power. Change gears yourself,
or trust the automatic setting – everyone who
gets behind the wheel of the SLS AMG is able
to decide this for themselves. The electronics
provide a menu of four driving modes for that
purpose – from comfortable to extremely
sporty. In addition, the RACE START function
can be used to automatically provide maxi-
mum acceleration potential. An integrated
mechanical differential lock integrated into
the transmission casing ensures optimum wall thickness – and that means less weight.
traction. As a result, every rim saves 1.1 kg. It’s clear:
The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG shines
A bundant power, low kilos, fast gear not only with a fascinating visual appearance
Changes, and a low center of gravity and spectacular gullwing doors, but also with
represent the best conditions for ex- technical brilliance.
treme dynamics and a high level of maneuver-
ability. The icing on this high-tech cake is the
suspension system, with forged aluminum
hub carriers. This configuration comes
straight from the racetrack, driving the
wheels with precision. As such, contact to the
powerhouse delivers enormous driving per- road surface is very direct – for comfort and
formance: from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds control, even when pushing the limits. And
and a top speed of 315 km/h. The power train when things are moving forward too quickly,
is also imposing. The exquisite ingredients in- the AMG high-performance braking system
clude an intricate, stiff valve train with 32 grips with force. Core components include
valves, light forged pistons, flow-optimized tu- internally ventilated, grooved, and perforated
bular steel header, dethrottled exhaust system, brake discs (front: 390 x 36 mm, rear: 360 x
and an on-demand high-performance oil pump. 26 mm) all around. The cast-iron discs are
The engineers dispensed with an oil pan in fa- mounted to float on an aluminum pot via
vor of the lowest possible engine position. stainless steel joining components, resulting
in the optimal dispersion of heat – this intri-
nstead, they provided the power cate principle has long been considered best
I train with dry sump lubrication, bor- practice on the racetrack. But everything can
rowed from the racing industry, still be improved. There are also larger ceram-
around the edges. Weight counts, even in the ic brake discs for additional potency. They are
engine. Using aluminum screws instead of 40% lighter, and withstand even higher tem-
steel screws reduce its weight by 0.6 kg. The peratures. Advantages include lower un-
SLS AMG complies with the emission thresh- sprung masses, a more precise pressure
olds of the EU 5 standard, and it consumes point, an even higher degree of rigidity, and
a relatively frugal 13 litres of Super Plus over shorter stopping distances. The performance
100 km (combined). Regulated generator of the new AMG ceramic brake system lies
management also contributes to economy, at 823 kw/1,120 HP at full braking capacity
using the thrust phase of the engine to con- from 250 km/h to zero.
vert brake energy into electrical energy,
thereby charging the battery. The engine ven the light-alloy wheels (front: 9.5
transfers its power, via an ultralight, 1.64 m-
E x 19 inch, rear: 11.0 x 20 inch) con-
long drive shaft constructed from extremely tribute to reducing unsprung masses
rigid carbon-fiber material, to a new 7-speed in the new SLS AMG, thereby increasing driv-
AMG dual-clutch transmission, mounted in ing dynamics and suspension comfort. They
front of the rear axle – specialists call it a are manufactured according to the innovative
transaxle configuration. The transmission “flow forming” principle. That means that the
changes gear with no interruptions to tractive material is hot-forged in the rim well, and the
force, but does not require a torque convert- structure thereby compressed. Thus, the
er. This enables lightning-fast gear changes same level of rigidity is achieved with lower

AMG 2009 65
SERIAL

LEGENDS

1977
TOWARDS THE END OF THE 1970S, AMG TOOK
ITS FIRST STEPS IN TOURING CAR RACING WITH
AN EXPLOSIVE COCKTAIL. THE INGREDIENTS:
A MERCEDES 450 SLC AND PLENTY
OF EXTRA HORSEPOWER

66 AMG 2009
IMPRESSIVE SPOILER, TREMENDOUSLY EXTENDED FENDERS, MOUSTACHE: THE MAMPE SLC AND CREW
NO ROOM FOR LUXURY: THE COCKPIT OF THE 450 SLC AMG “MAMPE”
THE 450 SLC IN AMG/MAMPE LIVERY COMPETED IN ONLY
FIVE RACES – THE BUDGET DIDN’T ALLOW FOR MORE.
NONETHELESS, THE CAR BECAME A LEGEND

TEXT HANS SCHILDER PHOTO AMG ARCHIV, M. BOLSINGER

he Silver Arrows are back,” heralded extended fenders. The designs were first pressed down on the huge accelerator
T the Stuttgarter Zeitung in April 1978. realized by a friendly Affalterbach-based plas- pedal, the unfiltered engine roared away.
The international press also reported ter casting expert, who simply shaped these “It was hot and loud,” said Hans Heyer, de-
the sensational return of Mercedes-Benz to aerodynamic parts as positive forms in plas- scribing his vantage point behind the wheel.
racing after an absence of 20 years. Despite ter of Paris. These were then used as the
all the skepticism, there were good reasons basis for the original parts made from fiber- O ne of the big secrets was the output
for the return. On the Easter Sunday of that glass and plastic. When it came to the super- of the eight-cylinder V engine. Offi-
year, a Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC was slated to structure of the racing coupe, the AMG team cially the engine’s designers admit-
start in the touring car race in Monza, Italy. were left to their own devices. ted to 380 HP, something it achieved without
However, there was one problem. Although There was no support forthcoming from the difficulty with 6,800 rpm from 4,520 ccs.
the coupe that rolled up to the starting posi- Mercedes factory. Still in his apprenticeship However, contemporary reports indicate the
tion in Monza carried the star on its radiator in 1978, Werner Kaempfert was involved in figure was closer to 520 HP. In relation to
and was painted in the company’s silver liv- the construction of the Mampe racer: “As well performance, the team had few worries.
ery, Mercedes-Benz had nothing to do with as doing their usual daily work, everyone in There was, however, a weight problem. The
it – officially, at least. Instead, Hans Heyer the business contributed to the SLC because standard SLC weighed in at 1,635 kg, but the
and Clemens Schickedanz drove the car on AMG did not have its own racing depart- rules allowed for a maximum weight of just
the traditional Italian route on behalf of the ment.” The chassis and brakes were very 1,225 kg. Despite the most ingenious dietary
Swabian auto tuning company AMG. It soon sporty in character. A double wishbone sus- efforts, the AMG engineers only managed to
became clear: although the star had returned pension front axle to the front and a diagonal reduce the car to 1,295 kg. This represented
to the racetrack, this was not a comeback for floating axle with antiskid compensation a huge disadvantage in relation to the compe-
the Untertürkheim silver arrows. Even if the ensured excellent wheel guidance. In its rac- tition and put huge stress on the brakes.
car undeniably shared some genetic material ing colors, the coupe rolled along on 12- and Without ever having driven even a single
with Mercedes-Benz, the much-admired rac- 13-inch BBS wheel rims at the front and back kilometer in the Mampe SLC under racing
ing car actually came from a different stable. with super-smooth Goodyear racing tires, conditions, Hans Heyer and Clemens Schicke-
AMG supplied the technical know-how and giving a broad, extremely streamlined, and danz made their way to the start in Monza on
Willy Maurer, owner of the well-known Berlin aggressive look. Easter Sunday 1978. The racing SLC came
spirits company Mampe, acted as sponsor, The Mampe differed greatly from the compe- third in its first outing. Other appearances at
securing the finances for the racing project. tition because of its surprisingly civilized the Salzburg Ring, the Lemans 24-Hour Race,
In return, the drinks company was allowed to accessories. These included the three-speed and Silverstone followed.
advertise its “Lufthansa Cocktail” product on automatic gearbox (which the drivers shifted In 1980, during the four-hour race on the
the car. To this day, therefore, racing fans still manually, however) – a real rarity on the race- world-famous Nürburgring north circuit, the
refer to it as the “Mampe-SLC.” track. SLC was clearly on course for victory, but
The ambitious project was launched at AMG The car also has power steering – also an twelve minutes before the end it rolled into
in October 1977. The technical basis for the unusual luxury for racing cars. The interior the pit. Spectators and crew were shocked.
racing car was provided by a standard equipment was completely removed by the Driver Jörg Denzel stopped only briefly to
Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC coupe. However, at AMG racing engineers. Unpainted metal, the say, “Put the champagne on ice, I’ll be back
the hands of the AMG engineers, the car was steel pipe work of a roll cage, metal-rein- shortly.” He then drove on to victory.
changed radically. The elegant body was forced hoses in the back, and a single racing
given a huge front spoiler and enormously seat made up the picture. When the driver

AMG 2009 69
PHOTOGRAPHY

UP
CLOSE
AMG 2009 71
TEXT NADINE STRATHMANN

HEADY DAYS
THE REDISCOVERED
PHOTOGRAPHS OF LEG-
ENDARY PHOTOGRAPHER
HORST H. BAUMANN TELL
THE STORY OF THE DANDIES
OF THE RACETRACK, THE
FLAIR OF THE CHAMPAGNE
SET, AND THE IMPARTIALITY
OF THE STOPWATCH
AMG 2009 73
CAPTURED AT THE SIDE OF THE TRACK: JIM CLARK’S LOTUS, ELONGATED, BREATHTAKING
SPEED AND COMPLETE INTIMACY

AMG 2009 75
A MOMENT
SOMETIMES IT’S JUST A FACE,
SOMETIMES A PAIR OF OIL-
STAINED HANDS. THE HONEST
TOIL OF THE PIT STOP. THE
CHEERING MASSES, HUNGRY
FOR EXCITEMENT. ALL OF
THESE IMAGES WERE SYNONY-
MOUS WITH A NEW ERA

76 AMG 2009
HIS IMAGES FROM THE
EARLY NINETEEN-SIXTIES
OFFER A FASCINATING
GLIMPSE OF THE FIRST
GREAT POP STARS OF
RACING, THE HEROES
OF THE AGE WHEN of the track and seeing a car turn just a few
AMG’S STAR BEGAN meters away from him is part of the job. Bau-
mann witnessed his first race in 1961, the
TO SHINE BRIGHTLY 24-hour Nürburgring race. Baumann worked
HORST H. BAUMANN
ARTIST, DESIGNER, AND PHOTOGRAPHER, WAS BORN
as if possessed and went through an incredi- IN AACHEN ON JUNE 1934. IN 1956, 1958, AND 1960,
ble 20 rolls of film in an endlessly long night BAUMANN SHOWED HIS WORK AT THE PHOTOKINA
and fast-paced day. “Photography became SHOW IN COLOGNE, WHERE HE WAS AWARDED
my personal method of perception,” says the SEVERAL PRIZES. FOLLOWING MANY YEARS AS A PHO-
75-year-old today, his face ablaze. While the TOGRAPHER, HE MADE A NAME FOR HIMSELF MAINLY AS
is finger hovers like an eagle over the listener may be left unsure of exactly what
H button of the camera. Then, seconds Baumann means by this, it’s clear what pho-
A LIGHTING ARTIST AND NOW WORKS IN DÜSSELDORF

later, with a threatening, thundering tography means to him. He gives order to his
noise, the car comes at him like a bullet. First world through the lens of his Leica. It is a
it’s just a shadow. The subject itself follows world full of fun, full of pride in discovery and
directly behind. This is the moment! The fin- full of artistic power. Baumann has worked for
ger presses down. The shutter opens for just all the great magazines. From Time to Life,
1/250 of a second and captures an image Vogue to Stern and even Playboy, they all
that looks like a painting. A timeless photo: wanted his point of view. He never retouched New York. Author and art critic Tom Wolfe
Jim Clark’s green and yellow Lotus, elongat- a picture, finding the monotony of darkroom surveys Baumann’s Jim Clark picture full of
ed, traveling at breathtaking speed, and yet work just too much. “My pictures are the gen- wonder. A distorted smudge of green and yel-
an image of complete intimacy. uine article, I haven’t played any tricks.” He low, the Lotus shines out from the picture.
The Lotus and its driver dive into the next was also careful in the way he worked with Clark’s helmet protrudes from the car, while
corner. Silence. Then a gentle, fluid move- color, something brand new at the time, and Baumann almost disappears amid so many
ment: the young photographer swings his used it to create specific highlights. New York celebrities. Wolfe’s fascinated gaze
Leicaflex over his shoulder and climbs down now switches back and forth between the
from the low curb at the side of the race- hanks to his sensitive eye, his photo- photo and Baumann, culminating in this com-
track. He makes for the pits, which are once
T graphs are always centered on the ment from the world’s first lifestyle journalist:
again echoing to the all-enveloping orchestral moment. Sometimes it is the en- “That’s pretty close.” He defers to the master
sound of the engines. Horst H. Baumann veloping clear blue horizon that makes the and expresses in a nutshell his attitude to life:
knows he’s got his picture. That was 1963 at victory celebrations down below seem almost Horst H. Baumann always tried to be right
the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. However, incidental, sometimes the faces of the crowd there in the thick of things – and very often
this photographic moment would make histo- appear as grainy smudges in the distance, he succeeded.
ry. Just two years later, the photo of Jim Clark sometimes it’s just a face, sometimes a pair
was displayed at MoMA, the Museum of Mod- of oil-stained hands. The hard yet honest toil
ern Art in New York. Silverstone, Nürburgring, of the pits. The cheering masses, hungry for
and Indianapolis are some of the stops on his excitement. The impartiality of the stopwatch
journey in search of the perfect picture. As a as a symbol of permanent progress. All of
racing photographer, he was part of the mi- these images were synonymous with a new
grant family that comprised the racing circus. era. Things really took off at that point. Motor
Baumann played the role of Harlequin at the racing became one expression of the belief
center of the performance. Today he de- that anything was possible. It was this mix-
scribes this world as the “flair of the cham- ture of technical enthusiasm and a love of ad-
pagne set.” People loved his spleen and his venture that was carried in the genes of AMG
taste for the latest technology: Formula 1 from the first day of its founding in 1967. This
World Champion Graham Hill tested a helmet love of the sport and of its heroes make Bau-
camera for Baumann and provided him with mann and the Affalterbach brand true soul-
exciting photographs of the track such as had mates. And so we follow the story full-circle
never been seen before. Baumann is full of back to the year 1965. Baumann’s famous
energy. The risk of standing right on the edge photo hangs in the Gallery of Modern Art in

78 AMG 2009
STARTING PISTOL
POLITICS, BUSINESS,
TECHNOLOGY: THINGS
TOOK OFF IN THE 1960S.
MOTOR RACING BECAME
A SYMBOL THAT
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

AMG 2009 79
PERFORMANCE STUDIO
WHITE STAR
THE IDEA OF AN ALL-WHITE CAR. ERNST-VOLKER NIEWEG, A
HIGHLY CREATIVE AMG CONSULTANT WITH A PASSION FOR HIS
JOB, REALIZED HIS CUSTOMER’S WISHES IN THE AMG PERFORM-
ANCE STUDIO. THE VIRTUOSO COUNTERPOINT TO THE VIRGINAL
EXTERIOR? THE INTERIOR OF THE ML 63 AMG IS SKY BLUE

AMG 2009 81
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE PERFORMANCE TEXT THOMAS SCHULZ PHOTO M. BOLSINGER
STUDIO: MAKING IDEAS A REALITY.
THE PERSON LOOKING AT THIS
ONE-OFF MODEL FROM THE ML 63 AMG
PERFORMANCE STUDIO MAY BE FASCI-
NATED BY THE RADIANCE OF THIS
MYSTICAL WHITE CAR, BUT HE CAN
ONLY GUESS AT THE CREATIVE EFFORT
THAT WENT INTO ACHIEVING IT

ERNST-VOLKER NIEWEG
THE 46-YEAR-OLD IS A BUSINESS GRADUATE. HE IS
THE FIRST POINT OF CONTACT IN THE AMG PERFORM-
ANCE STUDIO WHEN IT COMES TO INDIVIDUAL

rnst-Volker Nieweg has been travel- sports suspension was reduced to its individ- REQUESTS FROM AMG CUSTOMERS ABOUT COLORS,
E ing the world for 20 years – on be- ual components in order to prepare the sepa- MATERIALS, INTERIOR FINISH, AND SO ON. WHERE OTHER

half of individuality, on behalf of rate body parts for painting. The specialists PEOPLE SEE PROBLEMS, NIEWEG FINDS SOLUTIONS

AMG. Nieweg knows the geography of the around Nieweg paid special attention to the
globe as well as he knows the psychological chrome parts. Prior to painting, these sensi-
maps of his customers. The 46-year-old busi- tive components had to be individually pow-
ness graduate is the first point of contact at der-coated using a spray-on procedure to en-
AMG for individual requests in the Perform- sure an adhesive basis for the subsequent
ance Studio. The extravagance of his cus- application of color. However, an approach
tomers manifests itself quickly in the discus- based on the modular principle was unthink- sembling suede in terms of its surface char-
sions of the configuration of their unique able for the artisans of the AMG Performance acteristics. In order to manufacture a uniform
AMG Mercedes. This dialogue is an important Studio, because the application techniques blue in the interior, it was necessary to con-
part of the design process. “Our customers are not suitable as a template for the next sider the various surface structures and re-
are at least as extravagant as their vehicles,” model. “We confront a new challenge every flective properties of Alcantara, leather, and
Nieweg knows. time,” emphasizes Nieweg. A unique predica- metal. In the end, the entire interior of the
The idea for the White Star, a completely ment? Yes, but in a positive way. vehicle exudes a consistent light blue, which
white four-wheel-drive, belongs to an AMG calms in almost meditative fashion, assisting
enthusiast from Croatia already known to ieweg smiles with satisfaction as he concentration without subduing the driver
Nieweg. His uncompromising order to the
N walks around the car. He glances at into sleep. The AMG Performance Studio
Performance Studio in Affalterbach: The the air intake vents on the hood. specialists are used to quite a lot of de-
external shell of the ML 63 AMG is to be “You can’t just paint over these parts with the mands. One customer gave them a piece of
completely radiant in “mystic white.” And he slots, because the underside has to be blue terrycloth as the color sample for the
literally means every component, including sprayed as well.” He continues. “The door interior. “Of course we accepted that, no
chrome parts. The fact that this color isn’t sills are plastic and held in place by clips, problem,” says Nieweg. Therein lies the
even available from the factory was the small- whereas the body is metal. The parts seal al- singularity of the AMG Performance Studio:
er of the problems, or, more precisely, the most seamlessly, but there can’t be even the Making ideas a reality. But his simple, accom-
smaller challenge. For Nieweg the individual- slightest scratch.” But as anyone can see, the modating answer contains the real core of
ist, however, only one thing counts: “You can AMG Performance Studio artists have deliv- the AMG Performance Studio. When you look
discuss customer requests, but you can’t re- ered flawless work. Their masterpiece stands at the body of the car, you’d never suspect all
fuse them.” Not Nieweg. Not at AMG. there, brilliant. The ML 63 AMG gives off a the technical work, all the effort of the crafts-
So much for the exterior. As far as the interior slight glint of pearl in the sunlight, an elegant, men, or all the creative exertion. And this is
was concerned, the Croatian customer had previously unseen effect. Nieweg touches the also Ernst-Volker Nieweg’s secret. Remark-
his heart set on a combination of white and body of the ML 63 AMG gently, as if he wants ably reserved on the outside, he is a true indi-
blue – or rather, a soft light-blue.The simpli- to say goodbye. vidual in terms of his professional dedication.
fied, perhaps even crude, method of repaint- “We worked on this model for three months,”
ing was out of the question for Nieweg and he says. It’s certainly possible to grow fond of
his AMG Performance Studio technicians. a unique specimen like this over that period.
Their self-imposed obligation to perfection The emotional attachment to the exclusive ve-
would not allow it. The first step was to take hicle was further strengthened in the work for
the basic vehicle apart. The 510 HP ML 63 the interior. Like all the other fabric compo-
AMG with its eight-cylinder, four-valve engine, nents, the roof lining, for example, is made
AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC and AMG from Alcantara, a soft microfiber material re-

82 AMG 2009
telefon: 07971.9630-0 · fax: 07971.9630 -191 · info@KWautomotive.de
www.KW suspensions.de Schweiz: tel.: 041.7981105 · fax: 041.7981106 · info@KWautomotive.ch
VISION
GIFTED & GREEN
SWISS CAR DESIGNER STEPHANE SCHWARZ HAS SWAPPED THE STREET FOR THE SEA,
DESIGNING A SUPERLATIVE ECO-FRIENDLY YACHT

TEXT NICOLE HILLE-PRIEBE PHOTO THORSTEN DOERK

omeday, said Andy Warhol in one of And that’s why the trained automobile design- way wherever possible,” says Schwarz. Com-
S his dry observations on the future, er values AMG so much. AMG stands for ulti- puter-controlled networks will make work easi-
“all department stores will be muse- mate performance paired with quality at the er onboard the Ikko, cutting the number of
ums and all museums will be department highest level.” Because the design also re- crew members required, thereby protecting
stores.” The interfaces between art and con- flects the wishes and attitudes of the pur- the privacy of the owners. The electricity re-
sumerism are precisely the home turf of star chaser, Schwarz believes there is a huge po- quired for the numerous technical features
designers like Stephane Schwarz. The Swiss tential in the luxury segment for extending found onboard will come from surface-treated
designer was one of the first European studio the sphere of social responsibility. “Con- solar cells, among other sources. The mega-
bosses at Nissan, where he spent 14 years, sumerism, luxury, and ecology do not have to yacht offers high-tech luxury on four decks
divided between Tokyo and London, develop- be mutually exclusive,” he states. On the con- with generously proportioned cabins, private
ing the signature style of the Japanesecar trary. As well as conventional categories such balconies, individually adaptable saloons, and
manufacturer. Once he had playfullyfilled the as form and function, sustainability and envi- a pool. Under the helipad is a lounge measur-
gap between the conventional charm of a sta- ronmental responsibility also play an increas- ing almost 400 square meters with a breath-
tion wagon with the aggressive touch of an ingly important role for him. taking 360-degree view and a glass floor.
SUV with the Qashqai, he left Nissan and set Like all designers, Stephane Schwarz is also a Schwarz is in talks with several shipyards who
up his own business in London. bit of an inventor, someone who is always are interested in supplying the Ikko to poten-
This was a good decision for many of the looking for a better way to do something. tial customers. It’s likely that they won’t have
world’s other aesthetic puzzles that are just Take luxury yachts, for example: “When you to wait long for interested parties who are
waiting to be solved. “Design needs dissatis- take a look around the harbors and bays, you looking for a luxury eco-friendly yacht that is
faction,” says Schwarz, who never wanted to come across uninventive monotony. This is also part of design history.
get tied down to designing cars. It cries out despite the fact that the owners place enor-
for mobility and for the future. As it is, though, mous importance on exclusivity, comfort, and
life has enough building sites; mostly things privacy.” Yet the market is limited to floating
either look good and don’t work, or vice ver- five-star hotels in which the owners rarely
sa. The increasing complexity of technical find the privacy and relaxation they seek.
processes demands a new self-confidence “The bigger the yacht, the more people you
from designers who “need to bring solutions need to run it.”
to the future” as Schwarz puts it. “It’s as if The prototype for a new generation of luxury
someone had spread millions of jigsaw pieces yachts developed by Schwarz is named Ikko
all over the world and no one can put them and is a 21st-century vision in a Formula 1
together. Our task will be to assemble the look, paired with an all-embracing extrava-
pieces in the hearts and minds of people.” gance. The concept for the 125-meter high-
The fact that design not only supports the class pentamaran is based on a substructure
development of a product, but can also deter- developed by BMT Nigel Gee, which is stabi-
mine its properties is something that the lized on all sides by outriggers like a Polyne-
43-year-old emphasizes to his students at the sian fishing boat, and whose hydrodynamism
Royal College of Art in London. reduces fuel consumption, even at high
However, to come up with ideas that no one speeds.
has ever thought of before, you need courage Named after Schwarz’s favorite Japanese de-
and freedom. “The greatest enemy of the de- signer Ikko Tanaka, the yacht represents a
signer is avarice,” says Schwarz. “That’s why new school of free thought. “I’m not a mem-
innovations tend to be something exclusive.” ber of the Greens, but I want to live in a green

AMG 2009 85
DRIVING ACADEMY

LUIS FREIRE, THE MAN WITH NO PULSE:


"DRIVING SAFELY IS MY FIRST PRIORITY.
BEING ABLE TO ADD SPEED ADDS TO THE FUN

86 AMG 2009
N ovember in Andalusia. The As- Markus Schmitt, is to blame. Doctor Schmitt
cariracetrack remains, for the mo- is a race doctor, and has been the doctor for
ment, in the warm light of the winter many drivers racing with a star on the hood
sun. Untouched. Until now, the Saturday has since 1976. Schmitt loves the German Touring
been far too quiet on the private racetrack Car Championship, dotes on the drivers, and
near Ronda. All of a sudden, a deep rumbling knows very well that regardless of the class
can be heard. A rumbling that swells stronger of driver, in the cockpit one thing counts
and stronger, finally erupting in an ear-pierc- more than anything else: fitness. While train-
ing, howling, wonderfully raucous explosion. ing continues on the track outside, the grey-
Welcome to training for the final two heats of haired doctor with the smoky voice holds
the 2008 AMG MASTERS Sports Trophy. With forth on heartrates in the pit lane: “In races,
a short, satisfying thud, a car door falls into some drivers have heartrates over 190. That’s

ASCARI
place. The AMG Mercedes SLK 55 Black terribly high,” says Schmitt, and explains that
Series is ready to go. At the wheel: Daniel the peak figures don’t appear on the fast
Stalder. The task the Swiss has been as- straights, but rather in the turns. “That’s why

DOESN’T signed by his instructor? Get to know the


track. Four hundred horsepower pushes the
coupe forward powerfully as Daniel approach-
Ascari is so hard on the drivers. Only turns,
hardly any straights. There’s only tress, you
don’t get a chance to relax.” All drivers in the

DO es the first chicane. He breathes heavily. He


knows that he has the first part of the 5.4-
kilometer track behind him. But he also
AMG MASTERS Sports Trophy wear heartrate
monitors. Everything is recorded and evaluat-
ed in the evening. “Then I can see exactly

STRAIGHT knows that 13 right-hand turns and 13 left-


hand turns are about to shoot towards him
without respite. Ascari doesn’t do straight.
Pylons along the 12.2 m wide asphalt strip
who is fit and who isn’t,” says Schmitt.

T he doc looks over his glasses at the


laptop monitor in pit 5 of the Ascari
mark the brake points and crowns of the nu- Race Resort. Jagged lines. Phases of
merous tight turns. Still, curbs and enormous extremely fast heartbeats alternate with read-
safety zones provide safety. ings just above the level of relaxation. The
Only the best drivers come to Ascari, drivers question is: How long does it take for the
SOME DRIVERS WANT who can really control their car and who ex- pulse to recover? If it takes too long, some-
MORE THAN JUST SPEED. pect more than just speed. Sixteen men and thing is wrong. “I took Ralf aside at one point
A VISIT TO THE AMG one woman are taking part in the final of this and told him he could be even faster, if only
MASTERS SPORTS TROPHY race series. “Let’s be honest,” says instructor he was in better shape.” Ralf Köllges took the
Hari Proczyk, “some of them are too good medical advice, and began jogging and cy-
IN SOUTHERN SPAIN even for this. They have got to the stage cling. Twenty kilograms of body weight disap-
where they can almost do more than the peared. Then a car came out of a parking
cars. And that’s really saying something.” space, and Ralf and his bike landed first on
the hood, then on the asphalt, and ultimately
P roczyk, an Austrian and a successful in hospital. All that just weeks before the final
racing driver, knows the Grand Prix races! Up until just prior to this final week-
tracks of the world. Is the defending end, it wasn’t certain whether he would even
runner-up of the German Mini Challenge sur- be able to compete. Now Ralf is cutting his
prised at the pace of the hobby drivers? “Well laps, followed by another CLK 63 AMG Black
no, actually – I trained the best of them,” he Series, which appears to glide through the
says, grinning. The instructors have a kind of turns of Ascari. With remarkable speed, ad-
inside competition to see who will have the mittedly. At the wheel: Luis Freire, business-
winner in their training group. Ralf Köllges is man from Portugal. “Luis is quite a unique
leading the field confidently after four heats. case,” Doc Schmitt remarks. “He has practi-
But sometimes he simply wants too much; he cally no pulse at all.” The black-haired man of
wants to be even faster. “If you want to give around 50 years of age wears a comfortable
110% in the first training, you won’t have any- pot belly. When he speaks, he does so quietly
thing left for the race, and neither will the and with certainty. His dark eyes rest on who-
car,” says Hari. Ralf is the defending cham- ever he is talking to. For all his calmness,
pion, having won the AMG MASTERS Sports however, Luis immediately commands re-
Trophy in 2007. When he learned, after his spect. When he talks, people listen to him.
overall victory last year, that his first prize Automatically. “Luis is kind of a textbook ex-
was to drive the current German Touring Car ample of how stress impacts on circulation.
Championship vehicle from AMG, he cried He simply doesn’t let anything stress him,”
with joy. The other drivers rejoiced with him. laughs Doc Schmitt. Luis comes into the pits,
This year, the burden of being favorite seems chatting in a relaxed manner with the KW sus-
to have been a little too heavy. That’s why pension expert. Things aren’t quite right with
Ralf’s knee is now injured. “Doc Schmitt,” aka the front axle. No problem. Mechanics bustle

AMG 2009 87
HOW FAST AM I?
WHAT IF I GET STUCK IN
TRAFFIC?
WHAT LAP AM I ON? THOSE
WHO MISCALCULATE OR
DRIFT FROM THE RACING
LINE CAN INCUR HEAVY
PENALTIES

TEXT THORSTEN ELBRIGMANN PHOTO ANDREAS LINDLAHR

AMG 2009 89
about his car. A short time later, he gets back when they tell him about their children. Work
in, helmet on, and races off. The run is unex- is not an issue either. Over the whole week-
ceptional, despite the demanding track. Luis’ end, not a single mobile phone rings – not for
car is practically always on the racing line. “I any of the participants. They are all switched
like to drive safely. I enjoy the fact that I can off.
be fast at the same time. But it’s not that im- It is Sunday morning. The day of reckoning.
portant to me,” says Luis. “The people here Two final races. Thoroughly prepared Black
are far more important. He has completed Series AMGs stand ready, each one adjusted
more than 30 training sessions. “For me, the perfectly to its driver. But instead of the wild,
AMG training events are like coming home.” roaring start, the race seems quite unspec-
The car oversteers slightly as it pushes tacular. Which is partly due to the fact that
through the turn. Luis corrects it skilfully, continuity is a key aspect of the AMG MAS-
with small movements on the steering wheel, TERS Sports Trophy: Every driver records a
continuing to talk uninterrupted. “When I had reference lap, and then has to meet this time PHASES OF EXTREMELY
to go to California recently, for example, the exactly in the following laps. In addition, there FAST HEARTBEATS ALTER-
first thing I did was call Scott Preacher, our is a previously determined lap, which the driv-
US boy here, to get a few traveling tips.” Luis ers must complete as quickly as possible.
NATE WITH READINGS
also stays in touch with other drivers, such as This leads to a number of considerations: JUST ABOVE THE LEVEL OF
Athanasios Ladas from Greece, and the Briton How fast am I? What if I get stuck in traffic? RELAXATION. THE QUES-
Ed Strickland. What lap am I on? Those who miscalculate, or TION IS: HOW LONG DOES
deviate too far from the racing line, can incur
oming home: All the other Sports heavy penalties. Clean and concentrated driv-
IT TAKE FOR THE PULSE
C Trophy drivers feel the same way as ing – that’s the aim of the competition. It’s TO RECOVER?
Luis. They give no quarter on the not the checkered flag that announces the
track, but by lunchtime at the latest they are winner, but rather the final analysis of the fig-
all deep in conversation extending well be- ures on the computer.
yond what is happening on the track. Scott Portugal, as his 17-year-old son accompanied
Preacher, the American, towers above them t’s over. The AMG MASTERS Sports him to Ronda and has to go back to school to-
all at 210 cm. The advertising guru from At-
I Trophy 2008 has been raced and morrow. “It’s important,” says Luis in a tone
lanta, Georgia, bends down low to Antoinette won. The family of drivers gathers in that allows no objection. The first thing for
Ang from Hong Kong. The graceful power- front of the podium full of tension. Daniel has everyone else is to relax after all the hard
woman clearly feels comfortable among all come in third, celebrating at the top of his driving work. The evening belongs to the par-
the “big boys.” She calls Scott at least once a voice, in a thoroughly un-Swiss manner. ty of people who simply get on unbelievably
month. Sometimes for professional matters “Amazing, just amazing,” shouts the man with well. Because they have gasoline in their
and sometimes privately, just to say “hello.” the jumping milker on his red T-shirt. Second blood, and because they are as addicted to
In the afternoon, red flags are suddenly place follows on cue – and on crutches. the AMG Driving Academy as they are to their
waved. Something must have happened on Changing vehicles cost Ralf Köllges penalty own AMG at home. The next day, they are all
the track. It soon becomes clear. Ralf seems points. In spite of that, he managed second back home. In Hong Kong, Russia, Greece,
to have experienced problems on a bend. In place. He can’t believe it! Tears in his eyes. Great Britain, and Mönchengladbach. The
the pits, the AMG mechanics decide that the He jumps up, hugs Hari, and can barely reach weather in Andalusia will change. It is sup-
CLK won’t be driven again, for safety reasons. the podium for so much backslapping. And posed to get cold and wet. The heroes of the
The spare car is put into action. Ralf is able to the winner’s cup? This year it goes to the US. AMG MASTERS Sports Trophy won’t see each
return to the track after just a few minutes, Scott Preacher has won! The tall man is other until the coming June. And as happens
but an entire day of work on the right setup standing a bit further back. His celebrations every year, one new face or another will join
has been for nothing. Ralf now has to return are quiet, he is visibly surprised. He wanders the circle in 2009. In the company of Ralf,
to the pits after almost every training lap to forward, as if in a dream, right to the top of Scott, Luis, and all the others, the “additions
correct tire pressure and to adjust the shocks the podium. The winner. The Star-Spangled to the family” will not only experience exciting
to the track. A real competitive disadvantage. Banner, the US national anthem, is played. races, but will also be able to have a whole lot
“It’s my own fault,” says Ralf, shrugging his The instructors move to safety before the of fun with like-minded people.
shoulders. The self-made man from obligatory champagne showers. Ralf doesn’t
Mönchengladbach, in the Lower Rhine region, have a chance, and ends up with the lion’s
has a company which produces tools for the share of the sparkling wine all over him. He
manufacture of screws. Some of these pours the rest of his bottle over his curly hair.
screws are currently orbiting the earth with He’ll be sticky and sweet-smelling until his
the ISS, while others hold giant marine diesel shower afterwards.
engines in place. He is a “passionate con- The others don’t care how he smells, that
structer, absolutely obsessed with technol- he’s sticky and completely soaked: they sim-
ogy,” he says. Ralf Köllges demands high per- ply want to give him a hug. And Luis? He qui-
formance from his employees, and from etly drove his way well up towards the front:
himself. He enjoys being the best. But he Fourth place. He is satisfied. In spirit, howev-
doesn’t take himself too seriously. He laughs er, he is already back in his car – this time in
a lot, approaches the others, and enjoys it his own AMG. He has to leave shortly, back to

90 AMG 2009
“IT’S JUST ONE CURVE AFTER ANOTHER, HARDLY ANY STRAIGHT
SECTIONS. YOU DON’T GET A MOMENT TO RELAX.”

AMG 2009 91
A WORLD OF LIGHT AND SHADOW
ARCHITECTURE
AMG
AMG2009
2009 93
TEXT MAX B. OERTEL PHOTO M. BOLSINGER
M
OS
COW
THIS IS WHERE ASIA AND EUROPE COL-
LIDE, WHERE THE AUSTERITY OF THE WEST
MEETS THE INFINITE VARIETY OF THE
EAST: MOSCOW, A MELTING POT OF
MODERNISM, IS REINVENTING ITSELF.
TOGETHER WITH THE DESIGN ICON G 55
AMG, WE UNDERTAKE A VOYAGE OF DIS-
COVERY IN A NEW LANDSCAPE OF RUSS-
IAN ARCHITECTURE. THIS IS A JOURNEY
BETWEEN OPULENCE AND SIMPLICITY,
POETRY AND HIGH DRAMA

AMG 2009 95
ANDREY V. BOKOV

ANDREY V. BOKOV PRESI-


DENT OF THE RUSSIAN
ACADEMY OF ARCHITEC-
TURE IN HIS LOFT ABOVE
THE ROOFTOPS OF
MOSCOW. A NATIVE
MUSCOVITE, HE BELIEVES
IN AN INDIVIDUAL,
LOCAL BUILDING STYLE

96 AMG 2009
M
OS
COW
RUSSIA’S CAPITAL IS
DOMINATED BY THREE
EPOCHS: THE EXTREMELY
CLASSICAL TSARIST
STYLE, THE SOCIALIST
I t’s not hard to pick out Moscow from ICING-SUGAR STYLE Words are important here. Thus, after 24
space – this city really lights up at hours in Moscow, it is hardly surprising that
night. Moscow is a town with two
WITH ITS HIGH-RISE our chauffeur does not simply take us where
faces. By day, tens of thousands of cars wend BUILDINGS, AND we want to go. It always takes a few minutes,
their way through the broad, mostly gray THE KITSCH POMP sometimes longer, before we move off. The
streets. By night the buildings light up as if man at the wheel just loves a good argu-
the city had just put on a string of radiant
OF CONTEMPORARY ment. Sometimes he asks why we are taking
pearls, reflected in the waters of the Moskva, ARCHITECTURE photos in the new city (“It’s really not very
the river that gave Moscow its name and that nice there.”) and sometimes he considers
flows through the metropolis like a sinuous the route we want to take too difficult (“It’ll
backbone. The Moskva also flows past a new be traffic jams all the way in that direction.”).
chapter in the almost one-thousand-year-old Perhaps the need to have one’s say is a left-
history of the city. It embraces Europe’s over from the old socialist days, a world in
largest building site, Russia’s future business which everyone was equal, in theory at least.
center. This gigantic modern office landscape Russia. They see Moscow being restored to But perhaps the reason is simply that our
consisting of glazed columns and reflecting parity with Paris, London, and New York. Crit- driver is well aware that we need him. Driving
cubes is known simply as The City. This was a icism has come from those who do not want in Moscow is a black-and-white affair. You
controversial project from day one, which in to see Russia become a carbon copy of the either wait, and wait, and wait in traffic jams,
Russia means that it was the subject of much western economic model. This group obvi- sometimes on highways three or four lanes
heated debate. “In essence there are just two ously includes Julian Jusim among its num- wide, or you bowl across the city at furious
kinds of architecture,” summarizes Julian ber. His drastic, somewhat exaggerated judg- speeds that frequently exceed 100 kilome-
Jusim, architect, artist, and our guide for the ments are the words of a man who is ters per hour. If you don’t know what you’re
day as we take an architectural journey fascinated by Moscow, perhaps because he doing here, you’ll soon find yourself hope-
through the heart of Russia. “The first kind I left the city of St. George the Dragon Slayer, lessly lost.
call democratic architecture that is open to the patron saint of Moscow, more than 20
the observer and monumental. The second is years ago. B ecause our chauffeur finally decides
dictatorial architecture that is designed to to start the engine, Julian Jusim can
create anxiety.” For him Moscow City is unde- J ulian Jusim (62) was born in Samara, finally take us to see the seemingly
mocratic: “All the glass seems to signal open- on the banks of the Volga, grew up in endless complex of buildings that comprises
ness at first glance. However, in fact this is Moscow, and now lives in Germany. a huge cardiac clinic. “I built this part here –
the external skin of a world that is hermetical- The love of a woman enticed him away from back in the day.” Thousands of windows, sev-
ly sealed off from its surroundings and from his first great love, Russia’s capital city. Julian eral stories high, with a façade that looks like
the people.” tells his story with an intensity that is typical it should be measured in kilometers rather
The City certainly polarizes opinion. It gar- of people here. A short, simple question al- than meters. Impressive, just like everything
ners applause from those who look forward most always opens up an impressive world of else here in Moscow. A little later, just before
to the future and who interpret the construc- fables, words, and picturesque experiences. we reach our destination, we pass the press
tion of the tower blocks on the banks of the Stories so full of passion and enthusiasm that center for the 1980 Olympic Games – archi-
Moskva as a visible sign of a strong, modern only a Russian could tell them. tectural clarity, very graphic and, of course,

AMG 2009 97
THE BUILDINGS OF THE SOCIALIST ERA ARE CHARACTERIZED BY A PURELY VERTICAL
URGE, REACHING UPWARDS LIKE ROCKETS
AMG 2009 99
JULIAN JUSIM

BORN IN RUSSIA, TODAY


HE LIVES IN GERMANY
AND WORKS AS A PAIN-
TER AND ILLUSTRATOR OF
CHILDREN’S BOOKS. THE
TRAINED ARCHITECT’S
FASCINATING BUILDINGS
ARE HIS LEGACY TO MOS-
COW, HIS NATIVE CITY

100 AMG 2009


M
OS
COW
IN THIS CITY WE GET
TO KNOW NEW RUSSIAN
DIMENSIONS. HERE
EVERYTHING IS NOT
JUST VISUALLY BIGGER,
very big. This is another impressive building IT’S ALSO SOMEHOW that automobile design has taken on a lead-
that is part of Julian’s legacy to his city. Julian ing role in determining the way our world is
is an aesthete who learned to think big, the
MORE INTENSE AND organized.
absolute antithesis to his present work. Julian MUCH MORE PASSIONATE. The proof of this is both simple and plausible:
Jusim now illustrates children’s books, draw- UNFORTUNATELY, “Beautiful car designs can always be com-
ing finely detailed works of art for the appre- bined with classical buildings – they are the
ciation of children. Thanks to Julian’s con-
THE SAME APPLIES TO perfect pairing.” Modern architecture fre-
tacts, we get to meet Aleksandr Skokan, a THE KITSCH quently interferes with the image of car and
member of a family of great Moscow archi- building, particularly when the buildings are
tects and, now in his sixty-six-year, something as overloaded and exaggerated as is fre-
of a character himself. Kindly, but with deci- quently the case in Moscow.
sive absolutism, he contradicts the dramatic “Modern architecture should be mobile, that
critique of his friend Julian of the architecture W e debate the issues in Skokan’s ar- would be the best solution. If necessary, you
of Moscow’s business city: “I like the archi- chitectural practice. Whole districts could simply tow it away and scrap it,” smiles
tecture. The buildings behave like individuals are being planned and realized by Aleksandr as he says goodbye, watching as we
who are deep in conversation – it’s great.” him and his team of over 40 employees. He is leave in a piece of automotive architecture that
Their great height makes them seem like bas- currently working on a district of Omsk. The perfectly matches the clear graphic lines of his
ketball players stopping to bat the breeze. distance of 2,555 kilometers from Moscow to contoured office complex, the G 55 AMG.
the Siberian city seems enormous to us, but
A lthough he likes the design, in the from Skokan’s perspective Omsk is practical- O ur car’s paintwork is white – still.
next breath he pours scorn on the ly just around the corner. We learn what it The choice of car is no coincidence.
poor choice of location for the new means to think in Russian dimensions: every- That’s because even after 30 years
office city. Skokan forecasts total traffic thing is relative in this gigantic country. This the Bauhaus architectural style of the G Class
chaos. Already, before all the tower blocks is just as true for traffic as for geographical is still bang up to date. The contours of the
are finished and with the offices still unoccu- distances. Normally the scene of an infernal G 55 AMG are still very much part of the
pied, the atmosphere around the business chaos of excessive speed, endless traffic 21st century. This form has a timeless quality.
city is one of pure panic. It seems that traffic jams, and aggression, the streets are quiet Here, in the middle of a sea of dark automo-
jams will be the default. today. That’s because it’s a national holiday biles – black is obviously the “in” color for
Skokan would have preferred to see a number here. Everything is opulent in Russia, even Muscovites – we surge majestically forward
of separate centers. This would best corre- the tranquility. Regardless of whether we’re in our car as if on the crest of a billowing
spond to Moscow’s basic layout. Alexandr talking about buildings or cars, “It’s all a white wave.
Skokan believes that existing buildings should question of scale,” explains Aleksandr. Car Not that the boxy shape of the G 55 AMG is a
be incorporated in the plan. This attitude is design is having an increasing influence on rare sight here; Moscow seems to be the per-
also an argument in favor of a sensitive ap- architecture, he continues. “In the old days fect environment for this car, judging by the
proach to architecture: “We live in a time of architecture was regarded as the pinnacle of surprisingly frequent sightings of this fairly
change and should be careful with what we the arts, but these days the new kids on the exclusive automobile between Lenin Prospect
are left with.” We should preserve the best of block are teaching their elders a thing or and Pushkin Square. The size of the G popula-
the old and enrich it with the new, he feels. two.” Which is a rather poetic way of saying tion indicates that Moscow’s drivers are very

AMG 2009 101


M
OS
COW
IN TIMES OF CHANGE IT’S
IMPORTANT TO BE CARE-
FUL WITH THE VALUES OF
THE PAST, OTHERWISE WE
fond of this particular model. The Russians’ WILL SWEEP AWAY THE quently quotes from the Bauhaus period.
love of the clear, almost purist lines of the WORK OF EARLIER ERAS Likewise, it is equally unsurprising that An-
G Class body is all the more surprising when drey should savor the moment when he
you consider that its austerity and simplicity
THAT WILL ONLY BE catches sight of our G 55 AMG downstairs at
differ so much from the ubiquitous over-the- MISSED TOMORROW, the front of the building. His aim is to create
top style currently in vogue here. WHEN IT IS TOO LATE buildings like this car. “Buildings that serve
The popularity of the G 55 must have some- people, even just in terms of their appear-
thing to do with the attraction of opposites. ance.”

T his is a thought that Andrey V. Bokov O n the return journey from the idyllic
would not just contradict, but would surroundings of the historical build-
actually wipe out entirely. Sixty-sev- tects, Andrey argues for an indigenous, ings to our hotel next to the Kremlin,
en-year-old Bokov is the President of the As- specifically Russian approach, even if this is the words we have heard still echo in our
sociation of Russian Architects. He advises currently expressed mainly in excess and ex- heads like a soundtrack to the structures we
Moscow’s mayor and has a firm hand on the aggeration. see around us: socialist confectionery, tsarist
reins when it comes to the design decisions opulence and, again and again, kitsch mod-
made in the country. This is a man who is full aving spent a lot of time abroad, this ernism. And here we are in the middle of it
of energy and full of soft-hearted sentimental-
H senior Russian architect is happy to all, safely stowed in our steel icon. A satisfy-
ity, the embodiment of the Russian soul. He defend local solutions. That’s why he ing example of Bauhaus architecture on
speaks with the same vehemence when criti- has so much sympathy for the young Chinese wheels. Thank you, G 55 AMG.
cizing the glass structures of Moscow City as architects. He is particularly aware that China
imperialistic architecture that seeks to im- has had the same experience as Russia. The
pose the Anglo-Saxon business style through- first new buildings to be constructed there
out the world irrespective of established were glass palaces in the western style. But
practice as he does when enthusing about now Andrey sees signs of an improvement.
the time he spent as a young architect in “The young Chinese designers are character-
Western Europe; one of his best-loved teach- ized by a local style, a decisive reaction to the
ers was Sir James Frazer Sterling. Sterling’s huge number of soulless glass façades that
most important building, the “Neue Staatsga- originated in the studios of the big western
lerie Stuttgart,” is generally agreed to be his architects.”
masterpiece and is situated just a few kilome- Some time later, in his private loft in an his-
ters away from AMG in Affalterbach. This torical building high above the rooftops of
building unites numerous quotations from re- Moscow, Andrey Bokov draws our attention to
gional and cross-regional styles, as well as Portugal and Alvaro Siza, whom he regards as
from examples of significant historical archi- the genius of the present age. “He creates
tecture. poetic buildings without the need for absolute
Seated at the table in his somber office in the high-tech.” It is hardly surprising that Siza
impressively renovated and extended head- likes to use regional references in his build-
quarters of the Association of Russian Archi- ings. Nor is it surprising that his work fre-

102 AMG 2009


ALEKSANDR SKOKAN

SCION OF A FAMOUS
FAMILY OF MOSCOW
ARCHITECTS, HE PLANS
ENTIRE CITY DISTRICTS,
ALWAYS TRYING TO
PRESERVE WHAT
ALREADY EXISTS

AMG 2009 103


AFFALTERBACH IS EVERYWHERE
WHERE TRADITION MEETS MODERNITY, WHERE PEACEFUL FORCE
COLLIDES WITH EXPLOSIVE DYNAMISM, THE S 63 AMG WILL ALWAYS
SEAMLESSLY FORM PART OF THE ACTION. HERE: ON THE L’ASSUT DE
L’OR-BRIDGE IN VALENCIA, DESIGNED BY SANTIAGO CALATRAVA
AMG 2009 105
IMPRINT

PUBLISHED BY: AUTHORS: ART DIRECTION:


MERCEDES-AMG GMBH JAN BRÜLLE TOM ISING/HERBURG WEILAND, MUNICH
DAIMLERSTRASSE 1 THORSTEN ELBRIGMANN
D - 71563 AFFALTERBACH NICOLE HILLE-PRIEBE IMAGE PROCESSING:
MAX B. OERTEL SANDRA MARTENS
RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLICATION: JAN VAN ROSSEM
VOLKER MORNHINWEG CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT:
THOMAS SCHULZ OLAF KLINGER
CONCEPT AND EDITORIAL CONTROL: NADINE STRATHMANN
DELIUS KLASING CORPORATE PUBLISHING LITHOGRAPHY:
SIEKERWALL 21 PHOTOGRAPHY: NUREG, NÜRNBERG
D-33602 BIELEFELD HORST H. BAUMANN
MARKUS BOLSINGER TRANSLATION:
EDITORIAL TEAM: THORSTEN DOERK BÜRO BARBARA JÜRGENS, SCHLOSS HOLTE
EDWIN BAASKE ANDREAS LINDLAHR
SANDRA BIEBERSTEIN PASCAL MALAMAS PRINTING:
MARCO BRINKMANN CHRISTOPH MORLOK KUNST- UND WERBEDRUCK, BAD OEYNHAUSEN
FRANK MÜHLING SASCHA PFLAEGING
JOHANNES RIEGSINGER HARRY RUCKABERLE/DEBEOS STUDIOS CONSULTING:
HANS SCHILDER HEIKO SIMAYER ULI HACK
KATRIN SCHULTE HANS-JÜRGEN WIESNER/DEBEOD STUDIOS JULIAN JUSIM
TERESA VON TIPPELSKIRCH
STAFF:
FLORIAN BOLSINGER

106 AMG 2009


FRANK MÜHLING / MARKUS BOLSINGER POWER, EXCLUSIVITY AND DYNAMISM
REACHING FOR THE STARS
AMG AMG – the highly distincitve sound of these three letters is familiar
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